Dubai, arguably the most leisure development underway in one location in the world

Piers Brown By Piers Brown
Uploaded 13 September 2015

Revenues from UAE theme parks are expected to increase by 78 percent from $470 million in 2015 to $837 million in 2019 and Dubai could soon become a serious rival to Orlando, Florida, experts have said.

According to a report by Euromonitor International, the UAE is set to see revenues rise over the next four years as five theme parks under development near completion in the country. These include three parks within the Dubai Parks and Resorts project - motiongate Dubai, Bollywood Parks Dubai and Legoland Dubai (2016); IMG Worlds of Adventure (2016); and Warner Bros (2018) on Abu Dhabi's Yas Island.

No Middle East venue appeared in Aecom's 2013 Theme Park Index which ranked the top 25 amusement parks in the world, but experts predict that this trend is set to change, due to the success of Ferrari World Abu Dhabi for instance.

Philip Shepherd, Middle East hospitality and leisure leader at PwC said: "Globally, theme parks in Europe, the Far East and the US, Orlando in particular, dominate the market. However, theme parks in the UAE have the potential to see over 18 million visits by 2021, versus Hong Kong's 15m, where venues including Ocean Park and Hong Kong Disneyland and have previously dominated top theme parks in the world lists."

Phil Taylor, managing director of Dubai-based Team Leisure, says "the region is also experiencing the construction of three major museums and two safari parks alongside the record-breaking Meydan One mega-project in Dubai reported to be constructing the world's longest indoor ski slope, and a host of other world-class attractions by 2020.

"This is arguably the most leisure development currently underway in one location in the world and is a huge undertaking. But if anywhere in the world has the resources, vision and power to pull it off, I believe it is the UAE."



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