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Dubai theme parks 'can generate $5bn a year'

DUBAI, April 15, 2019

Dubai theme parks industry can generate $5 billion in annual revenue by 2020, according to estimates revealed on the eve of a major event related to Middle East’s entertainment and retail industry being held in Dubai.
 
Eminent speakers across the Middle East’s entertainment and retail industry will converge at the 5th edition of Theme Parks & Entertainment Development Forum to highlight the UAE’s tremendous growth in the sectors and discuss the way forward. 
 
The two-day event will kick off tomorrow (April 16) and continue till April 17 at The Meydan Hotel, Dubai, and will focus on the upcoming projects in the multi-billion dollar theme parks and entertainment industry. 
 
The UAE theme park visitor spending is set to grow six-fold from $105 million in 2016 to $637 million by 2020 as the country opens several new parks as it chases ambitious tourism targets, according to a new report. 
Likewise, PWC forecasts that the leisure and entertainment industry in the UAE will reach 45 million visitors by 2021. Estimates made by International Expo Consults, suggest the Dubai theme parks industry could generate $5 billion annual revenue by 2020.
 
Speaking about the importance of the theme park and entertainment industry in Saudi Arabia, Dr Khaled Bin Abdullah Altareri, directorate general of foreign trade, said:  “The plan to bolster and develop the entertainment industry and theme parks comes amid wide-ranging economic reforms designed to lessen the country’s reliance on oil revenues and to promote economic diversification in Saudi Arabia, and to attract local tourists and keep their high spending on such activities outside KSA.”
 
The Theme Parks & Entertainment Development Forum will be attended by leading theme park developers and industry buyers from UAE, Saudi Arabia and the rest of GCC. Impressive line-up will include speakers from organisations such as Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, Farah Experiences, Miral, Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Commerce & Investment, Al Othaim Leisure, Dubai Parks and Resorts, Global Village, Expo 2020, IMG Worlds of Adventure, La Perle, Dragone, Bounce Middle East, Legoland, DXB Entertainments, Power League Gaming and many more.
 
The event will be co-located with the 2nd edition of Malls Middle East slotted between April 16 and 18, which will discuss challenges the industry faces in increasing footfall, enhancing customer experiences and the role of technology in improving the customer experience, among others. It will also include interactive group discussions that will allow participants to discuss the various challenges. Both the events are being organised by IQPC Middle East. 
 
The malls sector is large in the Middle East region and one that tourists identify with as part of the Middle Eastern experience, especially when it comes to the UAE. According to a research by Euromonitor International, the retail industry in the UAE is currently worth $55 billion and is forecast to steadily rise to $63.8 billion by 2023. Malls alone contributed 11% of the GDP of UAE, amounting to $11.55 billion. They are not just places to shop and spend a few leisure hours with the family, they have become drivers of the economy.
 
An Alpen Capital retail report states that the size of the GCC retail sector is expected to grow by 25 percent, from $250.5 billion (AED919.33bn) in 2016 to $313.2bn (AED1.15 trillion) by 2021, driven by economic and population growth, and increase in tourist arrivals. With billions being invested in up-coming malls projects, the region is driving the latest technologies and experiences for customers to enjoy with the all-under-one-roof concept.
 
The event will have in attendance industry visionaries such as Mohammed Alawi, CEO, Red Sea Real Estate Development Solutions, KSA; Shane Eldstrom, CEO, Al Farwaniya Property Developments, UAE; and Sam Hosn, director, asset management, Al Futtaim Malls, UAE, among others.  - TradeArabia News Service
 



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