DEAL has grown to become one of the most effective ‘launchpads’ in the Middle East for stakeholders within the amusement and related industries. Now in its 19th edition, this year’s show takes place from 8-10 April at the Dubai World Trade Centre, UAE, and will be almost 20 per cent larger than last year’s event (which welcomed 270 companies from 33 countries, and almost 6,000 trade visitors).
The event’s creator, International Expo Consults (IEC), regards the growth of the global attractions industry as serious business. IEC says that according to a report by Global Industry Analysts, the world market for theme parks is expected to reach US$31.8bn (Dh116.8bn, E23.2bn, £19.2bn) by 2017.
The Middle East, Asia-Pacific and Latin America are poised to see the biggest growth rates during this period, according to the report.
Demand is on an upswing and there are opportunities to be tapped in North Africa and the Far East Asia regions as well. Here, countries are gearing towards ‘retail entertainment’ where a large retail entity supports an entertainment zone that includes not just rides but cinema, and F&B, it states.
Consumer preferences are moving towards adrenalin-pumping rides, interactive games, 7D simulation games, redemption games and high-tech video games among others.
Another key factor that will boost the entertainment and amusement sector in the Middle East is Dubai’s EXPO 2020 win. An estimated total funding of E6.bn (US$8.2bn, £5.1bn) has been earmarked for the event, with E5.bn (US$6.8bn, £4.1bn) anticipated as investment for the Expo’s infrastructure.
Dubai’s economy is set to receive an added value boost of around E17.7bn (US$24.2bn, £14.6bn). An estimated 25 million visitors are set to arrive in the country as a result of a successful bid, thus influencing tourism, trade, infrastructure and investment.
DEAL 2014 will see a large gathering of key players and visitors, and many familiar leading names as exhibitors from the international attractions and leisure industries. This year’s show will welcome leading names such as AFP technology – Wavesurfer, Empex Water Toys, Fabbri Group, Huss Park Attractions, International Play Company, Lagotronics Projects, Mack Rides, Neptune-Benson, Polin Waterparks & Pool Systems, Proslide Technology, Rainbow Productions, Sanderson Group International, Saturn Imagineering, Water Technology, Whitehouse Leisure and Whitewater West.