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Sat 9 Feb 2008 04:00 AM

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Middle East theme parks set for growth

More than US$3 trillion is to be spent on leisure and tourism projects in the Middle East over the next 20 years, the head of an international body for theme parks has said.

More than US$3 trillion is to be spent on leisure and tourism projects in the Middle East over the next 20 years, the head of an international body for theme parks has said.

Speaking at last month's Tourism Development Project and Investment Market (TDIM) show in Dubai, Charlie Bray, president and CEO of the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA), said current estimates put the region's attractions, entertainment and leisure segment at US$10 billion in annual revenues already.

"Globally consumer spending on theme parks is slated to rise by nearly 5% annually, resulting in a US$28.5 billion industry by 2011 fuelled by vibrant expansion in nations throughout the world," Bray said.

Current theme park developments in the region include Dubailand, Restless Planet in Dubai, Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi, and Aquaventure Waterpark at Atlantis on the Palm Jumeirah in Dubai.

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