Dubai - A massive complex of amusement parks planned in the southern desert of Dubai has opened its first park, a Legoland, complete with models of sheikhdom's architectural wonders.

The interlocking plastic blocks of Legoland, part of the larger Dubai Parks & Resorts project, represent the first brick in Dubai's southern expansion.

The city-state hopes to develop the desert on the road to Abu Dhabi ahead of hosting the 2020 World Expo, or world's fair.

Dubai already has plans to one day handle over 200 million passengers a year at the nearby Al Maktoum International Airport at Dubai World Central.

At the park's opening, its general manager Siegfried Boerst told The Associated Press that more is coming to the area.

He says: “It's not that we're in the desert anymore.”

AP