Dubai's theme parks set to generate $5bn by 2020

Tourism boom expected across the GCC region with new projects, developments
By Neil Halligan
Mon 29 Jun 2015 04:16 PM

Dubai’s theme parks will generate close to $5 billion in revenue by 2020, according to organisers of Dubai Entertainment, Amusement and Leisure show (DEAL Show).

Dubai Parks and Resorts is set to become the Middle East's largest multi-themed leisure and entertainment destination when it opens by the end of 2016 with Legoland Dubai, Bollywood Parks Dubai, motiongate Dubai, Legoland Water Park and Lapita Hotel, a Polynesian-themed resort catering to families.

The mega project, which will also include 220,000 sq ft of dining and retail space, is expected to spearhead the country’s aim to welcome close to 25 million tourists.

“Theme park industry is scaling the growth trajectory in the UAE,” said Abdul Rahman Falaknaz, IEC chairman and organiser of the Deal Show.

“Entertainment and leisure projects within the UAE and across GCC have boosted the confidence of the amusement and leisure industry manifold. UAE is experiencing this exponential growth because of its quality infrastructure and growing tourism and retail industry sectors.”

He said another key factor is that Dubai is also becoming the MICE capital of the world due to the yearlong calendar of trade events.

“This also brings in considerable amount of footfall as families merge business with leisure activities and that further propels the theme park industry,” Falaknaz said.

The tourism boom will be seen right across the GCC region, with new projects and developments being planned, like Oman’s biggest indoor theme park - Majarat Oman - which will be able to accommodate 2,500 to 3,000 visitors a day.

“The theme park industry in GCC is growing by leaps and bounds as more developments are taking place with a dedicated leisure and entertainment offering,” said Mr. Mohammad Attia, GCC general manager, Al-Othaim Leisure. “Customers do visit the indoor theme parks more frequently as compared to the outdoor parks. The operators have revolutionized the industry by ensuring the best safety standards are adhered to and by offering more value to their customers. The industry in GCC emphasises more on the rides and attractions mix as compared to the redemption and novelty games and merchandise offered by the operators across the world.”

Exhibitors at the Deal 2015 show, which took place at the end of April, have signed contracts worth over $330 million. With a growth of 35% this year, organisers will incorporate a theme park pavilion for next year’s event.

“Deal 2016 will now have an exclusive amusement operators pavilion within the show dedicated to theme park ideas, concepts and solution across all aspects of the theme park experience,” said Sharif Rahman, CEO, IEC.

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