New theme park projects set to come up in GCC

Posted on 30th June 2015

The theme park industry in the GCC region is growing by leaps and bounds as several new projects are being developed in Dubai, UAE, to usher in close to 25 million tourists over the next five years.

“Entertainment and leisure projects within the UAE and across the GCC have boosted the confidence of the amusement and leisure industry manifold,” explained Abdul Rahman Falaknaz, chairman of International Expo-Consults (IEC), organiser of the Dubai Entertainment, Amusement and Leisure (Deal) show, the largest platform for the theme parks and amusement industry in the Middle East and Africa region, according to tradearabia news reports.

The 2016 edition of Deal will run from April 19 to 21 at Dubai World Trade Centre.

“UAE is experiencing this exponential growth because of its quality infrastructure and growing tourism and retail industry sectors. Another key factor is that Dubai is also becoming the Mice (meetings, incentives, conferences and events) capital of the world due to the year-long 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 added.

According to him, theme parks in Dubai are set to generate close to $5 billion in revenues by 2020 as the UAE aims to welcome close to 25 million tourists during the period.

Millions of tourists are set to flock theme parks in Dubai that are slated to open by the end of 2016. This is good news for amusement operators as they stand a chance to innovate and take the theme park industry to the next level, apart from attracting more tourists, said Falaknaz.

White Water, which has supplied the rides for Aquaventure Waterpark at ‘Atlantis The Palm’ in Dubai and most of the ones at Abu Dhabi’s Yas Waterworld, will deliver a river rapids ride for the Motiongate theme park, which is scheduled to open in Dubai in October 2016, he noted.

“The leisure and attractions industry in this region is in a very good stage compared to other global markets. Several projects in this region are at different stages of development which should take shape in the next two years. As pioneers of this industry within the GCC, we have a unique product which has worked successfully for nearly two decades – our biggest USP (unique selling point) is that we have an original concept which appeals to the locals and GCC visitors, expat residents and international tourists,” Ahmad Hussain bin Essa, chief operating officer, Global Village.

The GCC is set to witness a boom in tourism as new projects and developments are being planned and in the execution phase to usher in more tourists than ever before. One of the examples include Oman’s biggest indoor theme park - Majarat Oman which will be able to accommodate 2,500 to 3,000 visitors a day.

Mohammad Attia,general manage, GCC - Al-Othaim Leisure said: “The theme park industry in the GCC is growing by leaps and bounds as more developments are taking place with a dedicated leisure and entertainment offering. Customers do visit the indoor theme parks more frequently as compared to the outdoor parks.”

“The operators have revolutionised the industry by ensuring the best safety standards are adhered to and by offering more value to their customers. The industry in the 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,” he added.

Exhibitors at the Deal 2015 show signed contracts worth over Dh1.2 billion ($326 million). The show grew by 35 per cent over the previous year, as exhibitors signed contracts for innovative products and projects, amusement rides and other equipment. This was another industry growth indicator.

“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. It’s a holistic approach that we are adopting with this new pavilion. It would be an exciting period for the amusement operators as the industry aims to provide them with umpteen benefits to establish themselves in these parts of the world," said Sharif Rahman, CEO, IEC

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