KidZania opens

Kidzania Tokyo Integrate Education and EntertainmentKidZania London has opened at Westfield, the first UK site for the global educational play destination provider, creating 450 jobs – including at a mini-Dorsett Hotel.

KidZania is also operating in Mexico, Dubai, Japan and Turkey, and provides an educational “theme park” for children aged four to 14 having fun role-playing careers including medicine, retail, theatre, firefighting, art and even forensics.

Councillor Sue Macmillan, H&F Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Education, said: “We’re delighted to welcome KidZania London to the borough and have no doubt it will be a huge success. I know many of our children will be excited to experience all that it has to offer.

“We will continue to work closely with Kidzania and Westfield London to make sure local people benefit from new jobs and education opportunities being created in H&F.”

As part of a pledge to support the local community, a team behind KidZania London joined with organisations including Phoenix High School and Workzone at Westfield London to help residents apply for jobs.

Westfield’s director of development, Duncan Bower said: “The arrival of KidZania is very positive news for employment and the local economy. We are entering an exciting time at Westfield London, as we invest in developing the centre further and the opening of KidZania is an integral part of that wider vision centred on food, fashion and entertainment.”

Dorsett Hospitality International – owners of the Dorsett Hotel in the award-winning refit of the Shepherds Bush Pavilion – will run Dorsett KidZania in the miniature city. Dorsett Hospitality International is the sole hotel partner at the new children’s venture.

Winnie Chiu, President and Executive Director of Dorsett Hospitality International, comments, “Dorsett Hospitality International is proud to partner with KidZania to introduce the exciting hospitality profession to children through interactive and inspiring role play, showcasing Dorsett’s renowned Asian inspired hospitality.”

The Dorsett KidZania Hotel features a lobby, reception area and bedroom. During their ten minutes work experience, children spend half their time working as receptionists before helping with housekeeping. As receptionists, their real life role play will include checking-in guests using hotel forms, taking hats and bags, organising breakfast in bed and booking city tours.

They will then move on to join the housekeeping team helping to dust and clean the room, carefully turn down the bed (perhaps even scatter rose petals!) before trying their hand at towel art. The other half of the group will ‘check-in’ as guests, before both groups swap.

Winnie Chiu continues, “We are excited to welcome young visitors to Dorsett KidZania and look forward to playing a part in ‘educating’ them on the opportunities and working life of hoteliers.”

Westfield London is set to undergo a £1bn expansion in the coming 15 years, creating 60,000 sq m of new retail space including a new flagship John Lewis store, restaurants and entertainment, as well as 1,500 new homes.

The expansion will deliver around 8,000 new jobs for the area, along with improved infrastructure and public space.

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