The UAE is taking the world’s most popular landmarks and attractions in Vegas, Orlando, London, Paris, New York and Ibiza to the next level for 2020.
“Dubai is now considered as an international city on the same stage as New York, London, Paris and Tokyo, and is leading the development of the UAE leisure market together with Abu Dhabi,” said Phil Taylor, Director of Team Leisure LLC, previously Chief Executive of Ski-Dubai and Executive Director of the London Eye. “The next 5 years will see a transformation of the UAE’s leisure and entertainment offering. Unique concepts include the world’s first Bollywood theme park, part of the Dubai Parks and Resorts development, and the new Warner Bros. resort on Yas Island, while some of the best attractions and tourist destinations in the world are being re-imagined. Dream Island, the ‘new Ibiza’, the new Louvre and Guggenheim museums in Abu Dhabi, which are architecturally outstanding, the Dubai-I, set to become the largest Ferris wheel in the world, almost 100m bigger than the London Eye, and more.”
Taylor added: “I admire the UAE as a place renowned for taking risks. It would not be enough simply to imitate, and that is not what is being done here. Not a lot of people recognise that the pioneering Downtown Dubai is modelled after the Kuala Lumpur City development, designed to be a city within a city. The Dubai-I will be operated by Merlin, who also operate the London Eye and this gives me added confidence in its success.” Phil Taylor is a speaker on the challenges of major new theme park development at the forthcoming Vision Conference during The Leisure Show and The Hotel Show Dubai, September 28-30, 2015.
According to recent report by PwC, the UAE leisure and entertainment market has the potential to increase by a massive 70% on 2015 figures to encompass 45 million people by 2021. International tourists will account for 31m, whilst residents, their relatives and friends, a further 14m.
Philip Shepherd, Partner, PwC Middle East Hospitality & Leisure Leader said: “The UAE has recognised the need for investment and focus on the quality of attractions to appeal to its increasing, culturally diverse visitor base.” PwC forecasts theme parks in the UAE pipeline will attract 18m visits by 2021 versus Singapore’s 6.7m and Hong Kong’s 15m.
“We launched The Leisure Show in 2014 and it has grown with the market,” said Christine Davidson, Group Event Director of the dmg events hospitality portfolio which includes The Leisure Show and The Hotel Show. “We are now providing the largest sourcing event and meeting place for the leisure industry in the Middle East and Africa. With a number of leisure mega-projects and 694 hotel projects across the region there’s a lot of outdoor terraces, pools, spas, sports, playgrounds, attractions and fitness areas that need to be fit out and equipped and many of them belong to hotels. So it makes sense for The Leisure Show to be run next to The Hotel Show Dubai.”
Strategic partners and supporters of The Leisure Show Dubai 2015 include Dubai Tourism, Dubai Sports Council, REPs UAE and the Society of Engineers. Exhibitors this year include Pentair, Aqua Middle East, Logical, Belhasa Projects, Technogym, AquaFit, MistAmerica, Fluidra Middle East, PROTEAM Europa, Fiore Rosso, and others.
Davidson added: “Over 700 exhibitors and 18000 attendees will be in Dubai in September 2015 for The Hotel Show and The Leisure Show and we can’t wait to see them here. Last year we saw exhibitors and visitors from around the globe, and for anyone in this industry Dubai is definitely the place to come to see the future of leisure and hospitality.”