Waxworks of Tom Cruise, Rihanna and Queen Elizabeth open new Madame Tussauds museum in Dubai

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A waxwork of US actor Tom Cruise is unveiled at the newly opened Madame Tussauds in Dubai, on October 18, 2021. (Giuseppe Cacace/ AFP)
A waxwork of US actor Tom Cruise is unveiled at the newly opened Madame Tussauds in Dubai, on October 18, 2021. (Giuseppe Cacace/ AFP)

London's renowned waxwork museum Madame Tussauds opened this week its first outpost in the Arab world in Dubai, which hopes to attract millions of tourists to Expo 2020.

The brand, which began life in London where it boasts 250 wax sculptures that draw millions of visitors annually, also has smaller branches in the United States, Europe and Asia.

"We have opened our doors on the 14th of October this year very close to Expo 2020," Sanaz Kollsrud, general manager of Dubai's Madame Tussauds, told AFP.

"We expect many visitors locally and internationally to come in.

"We have chosen the talents that are relevant and popular in the region."

The Dubai branch displayed 60 sculptures of "global stars", including football sensation Lionel Messi and pop singer Rihanna.

A waxwork of Barbadian singer Rhianna is unveiled
A waxwork Rihanna is unveiled at the newly opened Madame Tussauds in Dubai, on October 18, 2021. (Giuseppe Cacace/ AFP)

And about 15 were from the region including Lebanese pop stars Nancy Ajram and Maya Diab.

With only limited oil reserves, the emirate of Dubai has been focussing on the development of tourism and the entertainment sector.

Dubai is counting on the six-month Expo 2020 Dubai - which opened on 1 October after a one-year delay - to attract millions of visitors and boost its pandemic-hit economy.

A visitor poses with a waxwork of Queen Elizabeth
A visitor poses with a waxwork of Queen Elizabeth II is unveiled at the newly opened Madame Tussauds in Dubai, on October 18, 2021. (Giuseppe Cacace/ AFP)

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