Why the UAE’s theme parks boom will boost the economy

The arrival of IMG Worlds of Adventure in Dubai heralds the opening of the amusement park floodgates.

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By Neil King  gulfbusiness.com

The wait is nearly over. After years of anticipation, grand promises and false starts, the first of the United Arab Emirate’s mega theme parks will, it is claimed, open in a matter of weeks to great fanfare and, no doubt, wave upon wave of eager visitors.

The arrival of IMG Worlds of Adventure in Dubai heralds the opening of the amusement park floodgates.

Between Dubai Parks and Resorts, Ilyas and Mustafa Galadari Group, Al Ahli Holding Group, Miral and the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority, Dubai and Abu Dhabi are expected to be home to seven new theme parks by 2020 – the bulk arriving by the end of this year.

And while the various rides and attractions have enjoyed deserved column inches as more and more details have emerged, there is an even bigger story brewing about the economic benefits.

Ultimately costing upwards of a combined $6bn, the parks could bring in around $5bn in annual revenue by 2020 according to estimates by International Expo Consults, with Dubai Parks and Resorts – the operator of Motiongage, Bollywood parks, and Legoland Dubai – expecting more than 6.7 million ticketed visits in 2017. More info

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