UAE theme parks to receive more than 19 million visitors by 2020


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As per data released by Colliers International, ahead of Arabian Travel Market 2017, UAE’s existing and new generation theme parks would attract more than 19 million visitors a year by 2020 if current trends continue.

The prediction has been made using existing admissions and arrivals data for Yas Island’s Ferrari World and Waterworld and Dubai’s Aquaventure and Wild Wadias, as well as a sample of new and upcoming parks. All four parks witnessed a strong correlation between the rising number of visitors to the UAE and its admissions, with their combined admissions predicted to reach 19 million visitors annually.

Similar patterns are likely to be seen for IMG Worlds of Adventure and Dubai Parks and Resorts, which opened this year in Dubai. Both the parks aim to draw in millions of visitors in their first year of operations, with IMG expecting to draw 4.5 million people and Dubai Parks and Resorts predicting 6.7 million ticketed visitors.

Simon Press, Senior Exhibition Director, Arabian Travel Market, said, “Dubai has a unique chance to replicate the success we have seen in other markets such as Orlando, Singapore and Tokyo, attracting new arrivals while also capturing a share of both the stopover and direct tourism markets. Theme parks are a new addition to the tourism landscape here in the GCC and it’s important that destinations are positioned to take full advantage of the benefits they can bring.”

The predictions were published in a report titled ‘Theme Park Tourism,’ by Colliers International and have been released to coincide with the openings of Dubai’s IMG Worlds of Adventure and Dubai Parks and Resorts (DPR).

Press stated, “We are seeing the start of a new era for Dubai and the UAE with the opening of the world’s largest integrated theme park development, Dubai Parks and Resorts, and other mega-attractions. These join the likes of Ferrari World and Yas Water World and naturally these will draw ever larger crowds to the region.”

The new parks would also create a distinct economic boost for hoteliers. Hotels and airlines have seen business disrupted by events in key source markets including sharp fluctuations in the value of the Ruble, Euro and Sterling.

Colliers concluded that the closer a hotel is to a theme park, the stronger its performance would be in the key metrics of occupancy, Average Daily Rate (ADR) and RevPAR, the decade after opening.

Hotels located in the ‘inner circle’ of a theme park development can expect to attain occupancy levels two to 10% points higher than properties in the outer circle and city.

Press added, “This is the UAE’s chance to position itself as a major leisure destination on a global scale and there are many businesses in the tourism and leisure industries which should position themselves to take advantage of this. With more attractions than ever before the UAE, and particularly Dubai, are making clear progress towards achieving their tourist arrival targets.”