Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Emaar Retail partners with HSBC for KidZania® to inculcate saving habits in children

Dubai, UAE; October 21, 2009: Emaar Retail has partnered with HSBC as the exclusive financial institution operating in KidZania®, the children’s edutainment centre, soon to open at The Dubai Mall. A unique concept, where a city has been scaled down to size for children featuring real-life business establishments, functions and even its own currency, KidZania’s® ‘banking’ edutainment will be provided through HSBC.

Upon entering the city of KidZania® through the airport-style check-in desks and X-Ray machines – simulating the real-life environment of Emirates airline - a child’s first activity will be to acquire cash, which will allow them to participate in the various attractions within the mini-city. Provided with a 50 KidZos cheque upon check-in, children will have to head straight for the HSBC bank establishment inside KidZania®, and cash it in for the official currency, KidZos, or they can even opt for an ATM card. KidZos can then be spent on buying products and services available throughout the 80,000 square foot mini city.

Once a child runs out of KidZos by participating in various activities, they will have to choose from over 70 professions and “work” in these establishments to earn more KidZos. At the end of their visit, any KidZos left over can be saved in the child’s account until their next visit. The banking experience is so authentic that children can actually earn interest on their KidZos deposited into the account.

Mr Arif Amiri, Chief Executive Officer, Emaar Retail, said: “Today, more than ever before, it is extremely important to inculcate in children the importance of managing money. KidZania® is the first of its kind edutainment destination that offers young ones the opportunity to understand the various aspects of different professions and the role of money in everyday life. Through the partnership with HSBC, one of the leaders in the financial sector, KidZania® aims to instil in our young patrons a sense of fiscal responsibility and discipline, which we expect will extend further to their day-to-day lives.”

Mr Abdulfattah Sharaf, Chief Executive Officer, Personal Financial Services, MENA, HSBC said: “HSBC is committed to improving financial literacy in the countries in which we operate for the benefit of the younger generation. As the world faces economic uncertainty, it is now more important that we encourage money-management skills amongst youngsters, enabling them to make responsible decisions later in life on how they spend and save their money. KidZania® offers a fantastic opportunity for children to learn these skills in a safe and fun environment.”

KidZania® will also feature an airport, offices, university, a fire station, race track, radio station, pizzeria, hospitals, theatre and fashion ramps amongst others, all scaled down to a smaller, child-friendly size.

KidZania® is one of the three new leisure attractions at The Dubai Mall, the world’s largest shopping and entertainment destination. SEGA Republic, the 76,000 sq ft indoor theme park; and the 22-screen Reel Cinemas with a seating capacity of up to 2,800 seats, are already open.

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