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Dubai: the place where fun meets business



A recent report by PricewaterhouseCoopers states that the overall leisure and entertainment market in the United Arab Emirates has the potential to attract about 45 million visitors by 2021 while 30 million are expected in the next six years with residents and their relatives accounting for another 15 million[1].

Concerning the theme parks currently under development, they are expected to attract 18 million visitors. Indeed, the UAE is becoming a leisure industry leader and is getting prepared to compete with major entertainment locations such as Orlando, Singapore and Hong Kong.

Dubai is certainly one of the most dynamic Emirates in this sector and several theme parks and other attractions, that form a key part of the Dubai Government’s aim to increase tourist numbers, are in a development phase. First, we could cite Dubai Parks and Resorts, a mega theme park complex which opening is set to October 2016 and that forecasts 6.7 million ticketed visits in 2017. Along with a waterpark, it will feature Legoland, Dubai Bollywood Parks and Motiongate, a Hollywood themed park.

IMG Worlds of Adventure is another major theme park under project in Dubai and is set to open on August 15 this year. With a size of 28 football fields, it is set to be the largest indoor theme park in the world. Also opening this summer, Hub Zero the region’s first immersive entertainment park will offer experiences created in association with video game developers.Then, scheduled for 2018, 20th Century Fox World Dubai will be the second Fox theme park globally.

As for Meydan One development, it promises to break many records. The new leisure, residential and hospitality complex will have the world’s largest indoor ski slope, largest dancing fountain at over 420 meters in length, highest 360-degree observation deck at 655 meters, highest sky restaurant at 675 meters. The first phase is scheduled for completion before 2020.

Smaller projects also recently emerged in Dubai as The Dome Box, UAE’s first educational, four-dimensional cinema that opened last September. Situated in a new shopping area, the 360-degree theatre hosts short-animated films.

VOX Cinemas, a complex within the Dubai’s Mall of the Emirates opened in 2015 already benefits from a great success. It features IMAX cinemas with their laser big-screen projection system along with THEATRE by Rhodes which offers fine dining along with a high-end cinema experience.


[1] UAE’s Transformation into a World-Class Leisure and Entertainment Destination, 2015


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