The UAE’s existing and new generation theme parks will attract more than 19 million admissions a year by 2020 if current trends continue. The prediction is made using existing admissions and arrivals data for Yas Island’s Ferrari World and Waterworld and Dubai’s Aquaventure and Wild Wadi as well as a sample of new and upcoming parks.
All four parks have experienced 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 expected to be seen for IMG Worlds of Adventure and Dubai Parks and Resorts, which opened this year in Dubai. Both parks have ambitions to draw in millions of visitors in their first year of operations, with IMG expecting to attract 4.5 million people and Dubai Parks and Resorts predicting 6.7 million ticketed visitors.
The predictions were published in a report titled Theme Park Tourism, by Colliers International, and released to coincide with the openings of Dubai’s IMG Worlds of Adventure and Dubai Parks and Resorts (DPR).
A theme park can expect to attract a visitor mix that is approximately 70% domestic, up to 20% regional and around 10% international, with MICE groups also forming a large share of admissions especially in cities with a strong business culture, such as Singapore and Tokyo.
DPR features four parks: Bollywood Parks, Motiongate and Legoland with Six Flags Dubai opening in 2019. It also boasts a hotel resort, Marriott’s Lapita from The Autograph Collection, the first inner circle theme park hotel in the region. With the Riverland retail and dining destination, the AED13.2bn development covers 30.6 million square feet of land
IMG Worlds of Adventure spans 28 football fields and is the first global theme park to bring international brands Marvel and Cartoon Network together, in addition to two proprietary brands IMG Boulevard and Lost Valley – Dinosaur Adventure. The park features a unique array of roller coasters and attractions, 28 F&B venues and 25 retail outlets.
The new parks will also create a distinct economic boost for hoteliers following a difficult 24 months for the hospitality industry regionally. 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.