Dubai Parks and Resorts (Dubaiparks) have built three excellent new theme parks- a valuable way for Dubai to attract more tourists. According to the national vision, the country will aim for 20 million tourists by the year 2020.
All kinds of visitors can enjoy something at Dubaiparks. It has become the Middle East’s largest multi-themed leisure and entertainment destination. There are three separate theme parks under the company name: motiongate™ Dubai, which is inspired by Hollywood movie concepts; LEGOLAND® Dubai, the first LEGOLAND theme park in the Middle East; and Bollywood Parks™ Dubai, which showcases the authentic and vibrant Bollywood movie experience.
The Marriott Group have also been involved with the project, as they have provided the LapitaTM Hotel. The LapitaTM Hotel is a four-star themed hotel, and it has been developed in partnership with Riverland™ Dubai. The hotel is situated amongst 220,000 square feet of complementary retail outlets and a dining and entertainment district. The complex gives access to the three theme parks and the hotel: it is the common ground that connects them.
The original plans for the parks were announced in November 2012. Originally, there was going to be five linked theme parks on the site. By 2014, this idea turned to three larger parks. The board of directors approved plans to increase the company’s share capital to fund the project.
The project was a sizeable financial investment costing AED 10.5 billion. However, the build has been strategically located to attract visitors from both Dubai and Abu Dhabi, so Dubaiparks should regain the value of their investment, and watch as it appreciates in value over the coming years.
2017 was the first full year of operation. There were 2.3 million ticketed visits over the course of this year, and this is set to increase in 2018. Mohamed Almulla, CEO and Managing Director of the partnering DXB Entertainments, notes that the fourth quarter of 2017 delivered the resort’s highest visitation to date. This, he says, is “a clear sign of progress against our strategic plan and a reflection of the new pricing and marketing strategy implemented in September last year. Our key visitation periods will continue to be the cooler months of the first and fourth quarters of each year and therefore we remain optimistic that the positive trends in final months of 2017 will continue into the first quarter of 2018.”
According to Mr Almulla, the entertainment teams working with Dubaiparks restructured their management for the new year. He said:
“The company restructuring and transition from project delivery to an operational, consumer-centric company is now substantially complete and as we move forward into 2018 further operational synergies and the continued delivery of a destination wide, world-class consumer experience remain our key priorities.”
This puts Dubaiparks, and the organisations providing entertainment within it, in a position of readiness.
Now the resorts have been developed, visitors are welcome. The parks have spread across 25 million square feet of land situated on Sheikh Zayed Road close to the Palm Jebel Ali between Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Meraas and Six Flags Entertainment struck a deal to create the project at this location. They have ensured that there is plenty of room on the site for future expansion. This might be useful, considering that Six Flags parks focus on building big, beautiful roller coasters. Until now, there has been a definite gap for rides of this kind under the current Dubai Parks line-up.
Having a theme park in Dubai is more than viable, given that 78 million passengers passed through Dubai International Airport last year. This indicates Dubai’s aptitude to host large entertainment businesses. However, the matter is not exclusively about theme parks, but about Dubai’s tourism strategy in general: there is an overarching plan to diversify the economy away from oil revenues. This sort of development is key to encouraging more families to come and see, spend and do in Dubai. According to the 2020 vision, Dubai will implement strategies to “effectively drive and serve this visitor growth with multiple initiatives covering regulatory policy, infrastructure development, product offering enhancement, and destination marketing investments.” The overall goal of these initiatives is to position Dubai as the ‘first choice’ for the international leisure and business traveller.
Meeting these needs further, the Dubai listed operator has approved plans for a share issue to fund a Six Flags theme park next to the three parks. The Six Flags park will be located near the Sheikh Zayed Road on the outskirts of the city.
Dubai Parks & Resorts have also gone ahead with a second phase of its vast Florida-style theme park complex.
Most importantly, perhaps, is the amazing contents of these parks, and the great experiences they bring to tourists. Dubai Parks & Resorts boasts a Taj Mahal-inspired theater, a theme park based on Lego, a water park, and so much more.
Many of the attractions have been inspired by popular movies, with a new Hunger Games section promising to be a highlight. However, not all attractions have been based around American films: the Bollywood park will bring the vibrancy of Indian cinema to Dubai. All of the parks feature compelling IP, including Marvel and Dreamworks Animation. In addition, more than 400 dancers and singers have been hired from across the world to provide endless entertainment, and the resorts will feature costumed characters, rappers, and acrobatic trampoline artists. It is clear that the entertainment is diverse: the whole family will stay amused, no matter the age of the children! Additionally, the shopping center and hotel offers plenty in the way of leisure and enjoyment, so visitors can take a break from the three theme parks and adjacent water works to experience the joy of retail and dining.
As 2018 gets off to a start, Dubai is thinking ahead. With the new implementation of these remarkable theme parks, and a superb hotel and retail centre to bring them together, some of the 78 million visitors seen last year are bound to return again for more fun and discovery.