Dubai Parks ‘not enough’ to meet demand; expansion on the table

Dubai ParksThere are around 2,500 workers at the Dubai Parks construction site l Image Credit: Dubai Parks and Resorts

When it opens in the third quarter of 2016, Dubai Parks is looking to welcome around 6.7 million visitors during its first full year of operation. However, despite three massive theme parks, its own 500-key hotel and a river-inspired retail district, the people behind the project believe the mega entertainment destination will not be enough to satisfy demand.

“I think there’s more room for growth,” Brian Machamer, Senior Director of Theme Park Operations at Dubai Parks and Resorts (DPR), told PW during a recent tour of the 25-millionsq-ft project in Jebel Ali. “I believe the supply we’re putting on the market will not exceed the demand. So there’s still opportunity for future expansion.”

Dubai Parks comprises Motiongate Dubai, Bollywood Parks Dubai and Legoland Dubai. It will also feature Riverpark, which will serve as a gateway to all theme parks, and the family-themed Lapita hotel. More than 2,500 workers are now on-site, increasing to around 6,500 next year.

Because of the anticipated huge demand for theme park entertainment in Dubai, Machamer said he welcomes similar projects in the emirate, such as the IMG Worlds of Adventure in Dubailand, as they will help open the market to a much broader global audience.

“We don’t really look at it as competition, but more of a catalyst to drive more tourists here,” said Machamer. “If you have more themed entertainment, more theme parks, it usually becomes an enticement for international travellers to come to the city. In Orlando, for example, around 90 per cent of the city’s tourists visit one of its theme parks.”

Paul La France, Chief Projects Officer of DPR, said provisions have been made to accommodate expansions of the different theme parks. He said half of the total area of Motiongate is still expandable, while Bollywood Dubai and Legoland can be expanded by 30 per cent. River Park is expandable by 35 per cent.

La France also revealed plans to build two more hotels—one each in Legoland and Bollywood Dubai — with a combined 500 keys.

“We have the land to do it, but we’re going to build it based on demand,” he said.

Meanwhile, DPR has signed an agreement with Etisalat to deploy smart technologies in Dubai Parks. DPR said Etisalat will be providing solutions for visitor registration, smart parking, connected transport, online ticketing and digital payment.

Both parties will also be exchanging expertise in operational services, such as security system and utilities management.

Source: Property Weekly


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