Spending at parks set to hit Dh734m
Dubai:, January 21, 2008
Consumer spending at amusement parks and attractions sector in the Middle East is set to quadruple.
The sector, which is in the midst of a strong growth phase, is expected to see massive increase in guest spending to Dh734 million ($199.84 million) in 2011 from Dh183.5 million in 2009, said International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) President & CEO Charlie Bray.
Bray made this statement during a panel discussion on “State of the Industry Worldwide and in the Middle East”, at the ongoing TDIM 08 (Tourism Development Projects and Investment Market).
The panel featured top speakers including Darrell Metzger – CEO, Ruwaad and IAAPA Vice Chairman, Keith James - President and Partner, Jack Rouse Associates and Bob Masterson - CEO of Ripley Entertainment and Chairman of IAAPA.
TDIM 08, which is taking place at the Dubai International Exhibition & Convention Centre, Zabeel Hall & Hall 1 is the first-ever show dedicated to developments and investments in the tourism sector and is organised by Reed Exhibitions Middle East with the support of the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) and DTCM (the Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing, Government of Dubai). The show is taking place from January 20-22.
Stating that the attractions, entertainment and leisure parks sector in the Middle East currently posts revenues of Dh36.7 billion, Bray said that the sector is expected to post annual growth of between 20 to 25 per cent in the coming years.
“Growth is being bolstered by the several billions of dirhams in investment already committed to building parks and attractions in the region. Additionally, estimates show that 5-10 per cent of all new retail space here is being dedicated to family entertainment and amusement offerings”, he said.
“Globally consumer spending on theme parks is slated to rise by nearly five per cent annually, resulting in a Dh104. 5 billion industry by 2011 fueled by vibrant expansion in nations throughout the world. This increase will be led by the Middle East and Asia, the two fastest-growing attractions and amusements parks markets today”, he said.
According to PricewaterhouseCoopers, the annual growth rate for the amusement sector in Middle East, Europe and Africa region is slated to be over 5 per cent upto 2011, raising yearly attendance to 154 million in just four years, with much of that growth predicted to come from the Middle East.
“Construction of new facilities across the region, particularly in the United Arab Emirates and Eastern Europe, will provide the fresh experiences that lead to an expected rise in attendance and guest spending”, said Bray.
Besides the recently opened Lost Paradise of Dilmun Waterpark in Bahrain and the E-Zone entertainment center at the CityStars Cairo complex in Egypt, Bray said upcoming attractions in the region include Dubailand, Restless Planet and Universal Studios Dubailand, Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi, Entertainment City in Qatar, Aquaventure Waterpark at Atlantis – The Palm in Dubai, the Warner Brothers-themed park in Abu Dhabi, the WOW RAK theme park complex in Ras Al Khaimah and the Paramount Pictures-branded theme park here in Dubai.
“Combining rides, shopping, water activities, entertainment, dining, and hotels, all in one site is a great way to satisfy many vacationers’ desires for variety thereby enabling them to extend their stay into a complete escape of three, four, five or even seven days”, said Bray. – TradeArabia News Service
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