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Family Entertainment Centres to thrive in the UAE
While recent openings of theme parks in the United Arab Emirates has attracted massive global media attention, the organisers of the DEAL 2017 show believe that Family Entertainment Centres (FECs) will co-exist and flourish over the coming years.
With tourism contributing to almost 8.5% of its GDP by the end of 2016, the UAE is investing in infrastructure projects to drive higher levels of visitor numbers, with events such as Dubai Expo 2020 expected to attract 25 million visitors, 70% of whom will come from abroad.
These numbers are expected to further boost visits to theme parks and retail malls, encouraging the growth of FECs in UAE.
Prakash Vivekanand, Managing Director of Amusement Services International LLC explains “the GCC retail sector and particularly UAE stands at a unique threshold with a combination of factors set to drive growth into the future.
“New retail space and entertainment centres are being developed across the region as families and increasing tourist traffic prefer to spend time in malls and indoor theme parks.
“These sentiments are echoed throughout the entertainment and amusement industry. Growing population and evolving lifestyles as well as rising disposable incomes will have a positive impact on family entertainment zones.”
International Expo Consults (IEC), part of Falak Holding is the driving force behind the 22-year old DEAL event and its rich platform for players in both the indoor and outdoor attractions and entertainment space.
Vivekanand adds “the experience within a FEC is markedly different from that of a theme park as the entertainment matrix are positioned differently.
“Theme parks are typically planned for a day-long visit. However, FECs can be both a destination and an impulse visit targeting a typical dwell time of two hours and supported by visits to the surrounding retail and F&B offerings.
“Their pay-as-you-go concept is geared towards repeat visits across the year. They are thus designed and positioned to be very dynamic and yet morphable.
“The entertainment mix within them are subject to periodic changes and vital to keep up the desired interest levels of consumers. And such changes are definitely easier to incorporate in an FEC than at large theme parks that house specific attractions.”
The recent opening on Dubai Parks and Resorts - including Bollywood Parks™ Dubai, LEGOLAND® Dubai and Riverland™ Dubai – along with IMG Worlds of Adventure has placed Dubai as one of the world’s major theme park locations.
Driving tourism, many visitors will not only visit these parks but will also visit retail malls driving footfall towards the in-mall entertainment zones.
The UAE’s FECs contain multiple anchor attractions such as rides, soft-play equipment such as the plastic maze of tubes, slides and ball pits, children’s play areas, video arcades, redemption and carnival games. More than ever, they are seamlessly integrated with the retail sector and are a must-have component for any mall.
With the rise shopping, Vivekanand sees that FECs and other leisure concepts are starting to drive the retail sector in the UAE.
Sharif Rahman, Chief Executive of International Expo Consults, organisers of the DEAL show, concludes “UAE will surely lead the space (with) innovation a key component for both FECs and theme parks ... both of which can operate seamlessly in the environment that Dubai offers.
“We have witnessed a giant leap in the industry since we started this show 22 years ago.
“FECs are mostly within the heart of the city and that is a definite plus in supporting the mall garner higher footfalls. So the formula for succeeding in both the indoor and outdoor entertainment concepts is the same and largely governed by innovative ideas.
“The Dubai Entertainment Amusement and Leisure (DEAL) show has shaped the region’s entertainment industry for the past two decades and it has brought together great minds and their world class concepts all under one umbrella.”
Foraying into its 23rd edition, DEAL 2017 expects to witness an even larger gathering of key players and visitors in the amusement industry from Middle East, Africa, US, Mediterranean and Asian countries.
DEAL 2017 is being held from 27th to 29th March 2017 at Halls 1, 2, 3 & 4 at the Dubai World Trade Centre.
Click here to view details on the Dubai Entertainment Amusement and Leisure (DEAL) Show in the Australasian Leisure Management industry Calendar.
Images: FECs and other leisure concepts are starting to drive the retail sector in the UAE.
21st November 2016 - DUBAI PARKS AND RESORTS OPENS BOLLYWOOD PARKS DUBAI
6th September 2016 - WORLD’S LARGEST INDOOR THEME PARK OPENS IN DUBAI
14th July 2016 - CREATIVE CONCEPTS TO DRIVE MILLIONS OF GUESTS TO UAE THEME PARKS
4th March 2016 - DEAL LAUNCHES ARABIAN GULF ATTRACTIONS INDUSTRY CONFERENCE
13th May 2013 - MILLION DOLLAR ATTRACTIONS CONTRACTS AGREED AT DEAL 2013
12th May 2010 - GO KARTS SET TO BE THE NEXT HOT FEC DEVELOPMENT TREND
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