The world's largest shopping center The Dubai Mall opens its newest attraction today, a 76,000 sq ft. indoor theme park developed by Emaar Retail in association with Sega.

Sega Republic features over 150 simulated sports games, classic carnival games, and redemption games across five themed zones -- Speed, Adventure, Sports, Cyberpop, and Redemption. In the Speed zone, you'll find Sonic Hopper (pictured), a "9-meter drop ride" named after the company's famous blue mascot.

Even more interesting than that ride, though, is Sega Republic's SPIN Gear in the Adventure area, "a spinning coaster replete with sound and visual effects, themed on the story of an evil attempt to capture Sonic the Hedgehog by his arch nemesis Dr. Eggman." Doesn't that just sound like (Blaze) the cat's pajamas?

And that's not even the coolest thing coming to the mall! Later this year, the shopping center will debut Kidzania, a "kid-sized replica of a real city, with streets, buildings, retail and vehicles moving around the city", where children can wear different uniforms and roleplay different jobs.

[Via Arcade Heroes]