Theme parks to add Dh14b to economy

Dubai ParksRendering of the entrance to Dubai Parks, the Middle East’s biggest entertainment venue l Image Credit: Courtesy of Dubai Parks and Resorts:

The timeshare industry in Dubai will grow by 50 per cent in 2017, driven by millions of tourists to the three theme parks that will open at the end of 2016, according to Arabian Falcon Holidays (AFH), an independent timeshare sales and marketing company in the Middle East.

Mohannad Sharafuddin, Chairman and CEO of AFH, said the theme parks will also contribute more than Dh14 billion to the emirate’s economy by 2020.

Dubai Parks and Resorts, the operator of the Middle East’s largest multi-themed leisure and entertainment destination, expects over 6.7 million ticketed visits in 2017. That’s a huge number in the first year and will aid in the growth of the timeshare market here.

“The timeshare market will surpass growth rates of 15-20 per cent per year [to 2017], and herald a new era with an annual growth rate of 50 per cent.” Sharafuddin said the growth of the industry will replicate the success story of Orlando, a city in the US state of Florida that is known globally for its theme park attractions.

According to US media reports, Florida drew a record 97.3 million visitors last year, buoyed by an improving economy and theme park attractions.

A study by Ernst & Young for the American Resort Development Association, a trade association representing the vacation ownership and resort development industries, revealed the US timeshare industry contributed an estimated $68.7 billion (Dh252 billion) in consumer and business spending to the American economy in 2013.

“The economic impact of the theme park on the timeshare market is relevant to Dubai as well,” said Sharafuddin. “It will increase the number of tourists from Africa and Asia by leaps and bounds, making it the top timeshare destination in the Middle East and North Africa.”

The three parks that are currently under construction are the Hollywood-inspired Motiongate Dubai, Legoland Dubai, the first Legoland theme park in the region, and Bollywood Parks Dubai, an entertainment destination inspired by the Indian movie industry. The three are all part of the Dubai Parks and Resorts project in Jebel Ali.

Another theme park attraction being built in the emirate is the IMG Worlds of Adventure, billed the world’s largest temperature-controlled indoor themed entertainment destination.

According to the 2014 UNWTO Tourism Highlights Report, the Middle East is expected to be the fastest-growing region in the world for inbound tourism with visitor numbers expected to reach 149 million in 2030, compared to 52 million in 2013.

Source: Property Weekly


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