By Doaa Farid
KidZania has finally opened its doors to Cairo-based children, becoming the country’s first entertainment educational city.
The opening ceremony was held in KidZania’s headquarters in Cairo Festival City project in New Cairo, and was attended by Xavier Lopez, the international executive chairman and the founder of KidZania in Mexico, as well as Tarek Zidan, the governor of KidZania Egypt and the executive chairman of Edrak Company for edutainment projects development.
“KidZania Cairo is the 15th KidZania city around the world,” said Zidan in the press conference marking the opening ceremony. He explained that Kidzania is a place where “kids can work, learn and play.”
“We believe that kids can do amazing things when they’re given the chance,” he said.
Zidan stressed that KidZania city is a small model of the outside world in the aspects of job opportunities, streets, coffee shops and all the services that a person needs. “In KidZania kids can do what adults are doing; it’s like an independent city controlled by kids, and we’re giving them the right to invent, play and participate.”
Lopez pointed out that KidZania enables children between the ages of four and fourteen to perform adult roles in all professions; they can be doctors, policemen, accountants, media personnel, journalists, bankers and so on. “That’s why we’re keen on having a city has its own streets, buildings, shops, hospitals, banks, police stations,” said Lopez.
Zidan explained that children’s arrival to KidZania begins in with a flight ticket and a cheque. “Each child then goes to the official bank of KidZania with the cheque to receive the Kidzo, KidZania’s currency, which they can use to buy their needs. When they ran out of cash, they have to work, where the supervisors teach them how to perform the profession they’ve chosen. At the end, they earn money and that’s how they can feel the value of their work and learn new values and skills every time they visit KidZania,” he said.
Meanwhile, Lopez said that 30 million kids around the world have visited KidZania to enjoy the different activities in the city, and to develop their skills instead of “wasting their time watching TV or playing video games without any social interaction,” noting that KidZania is video game-free.
Zidan stated that the value of investments in KidZania Cairo reaches more than EGP 145m as the city includes more than 100 models for activities and jobs which kids can perform.
The 517 employees of KidZania, who range in age from 18 to 24, are well trained in dealing with children, as the site is designed to receive a maximum of 1,500 kids per day. Zidan also revealed KidZania’s intentions to establish branches in Giza and Alexandria.
KidZania Cairo, which is the first in Africa and the third in the Middle East, opened its doors in the soft opening for Egyptian orphans. “Ten percent of our tickets’ sales will be given to free for orphans and disabled children,” said Zidan.
“Get ready for a better world” is KidZania’s slogan, which helps the kids to learn the value of work, money, teamwork and cooperation. Kids can explore the world of adults and take the experience from the city to their futures.