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Big growth seen in family leisure market

Dubai, March 23, 2014

Family Entertainment Centres (FECs) in the region are set to see an exponential growth according to the organisers of the upcoming Dubai Entertainment, Amusement and Leisure show (DEAL).

International Expo Consults (IEC) will display the largest showcase of FECs at the 20th edition of the show running from April 8 to 10 at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC). FEC is an amusement park marketed towards families with small children to teenagers, and often entirely indoors or associated with a larger operation such as a theme park.

DEAL 2014 is expected to witness an even larger gathering of key players and visitors in the amusement industry from Europe, US, Middle East, African, Mediterranean and Asian countries among other geographies.

Abdul Rahman Falaknaz, chairman of IEC said: “When the economy is on a growth path it brings in more people to the region. This sudden growth in population will have a big impact on the FEC in the region. This is a milestone year for us and the show has grown to become one of the most effective ‘launch-pads’ in the Middle East for all stakeholders within the amusement and related industries.”

Pan amusements from England will be exhibiting at DEAL for the fourth time and will be exhibiting their popular single play shooting gallery “Sideshow” which has proven to be a massive hit all over Europe and North America. Another exhibitor from Belgium, Syx Automations; a leading supplier of operations management software across five key business sectors: museums, zoos, theatres, theme parks and leisure centres will also be at the show.

“Due to the climatic conditions in the region we cannot afford to have outdoor theme parks 365 days in a year as in other parts of the world,” Falaknaz added.

“However, with the advent of state-of-the-art indoor FEC’s, people can enjoy the facilities throughout the year, regardless of climate. Leisure in general is an important component of malls: it brings families and their kids together. The trend is towards ‘retail entertainment’ where a large retail entity supports an entertainment zone that includes not just rides but cinemas, food and beverages among other forms of entertainment.”

Switch Middle East will showcase the best in top of the line, stylish bowling equipment for the modern world at the DEAL show. They have participated in the exhibition since 1998 and will be showcasing their VIP bowling concept this year and the products are designed by the legendary Italian engineer - Pininfarina.

“Some of the malls with the FECs have recorded a 35 per cent-40 per cent increase in earnings due to the FECs. We foresee the industry to grow at a rapid pace in 2013 and beyond,” said Sharif Rahman, CEO, IEC.

“The FECs will perform even better during the next few quarters due to the change in the climate and forthcoming vacation season. FEC’s actually complement the retail industry to a large extent and without FEC’s the whole retail puzzle is largely incomplete. There are several new projects coming up in UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Oman and the region is set to witness a remarkable growth in the entertainment sector in the near future.”

The countries in the Mena region are gearing towards ‘retail entertainment’ where a large retail entity supports an entertainment zone that includes not just rides but cinema, food and beverages. Consumer preferences are gliding towards adrenalin-pumping rides, interactive games, 7D simulation games, redemption games and high-tech video games among others.

“DEAL 2014 is the most important show for Warehouse of Games Ltd. This is the only show we get the chance to debut our new games, meet existing and new customers and discuss new opportunities.  This year we have a very large booth occupying over 500 sq m, we will debut all new games that we believe a must have at every Family Entertainment Center,” Nabil A Kassim, general manager, Warehouse of Games.

“Ages 2-12 are the biggest spenders on the entertainment segment but the past couple of years have seen a strong emergence of the market between the ages of 14 and 21,” said Rahman.

“According to Industry experts, the indoor entertainment was the best performing segment in the amusement parks market over the years. Indoor theme parks are here to stay. You can go to an outdoor theme park about twice a year, but you're more likely to go to the mall every week and then the indoor theme park,” he concluded. – TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Dubai | deal | IEC | entertainment show |

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