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UAE theme park spending forecast to hit $637m by 2020

UAE theme park visitor spending is set to grow six-fold from $105 million in 2016 to $637 million by 2020 as the country opens several new parks as it chases ambitious tourism targets, according to a new report.

The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions said the UAE is the dominant market in the Middle East and North Africa, the world’s fastest growing region for theme park visitor spending.

And market research firm PwC predicts that the UAE’s theme park visitors could provide nearly two-thirds of the UAE’s projected total visitors by 2021.

The figures comes ahead of the Dubai Entertainment, Amusement, and Leisure Show and industry experts says UAE theme parks are dialing up the “smart” visitor experience to ensure the country remains one of the world’s fastest-growing markets.

Experts agree the UAE’s theme parks are serving as ideal test cases for the advanced technology that will fuel the premier mega-event of as Expo 2020 Dubai.

Andrew Calthorpe, CEO at smart theme park consultancy Condo Protego, which has worked closely with numerous theme parks in the UAE, said: “UAE theme parks are on the cutting-edge of leveraging real-time information management technology to enhance the visitor experience.

“Millions of visitors will be able to use mobile apps for ride wait times and ordering concessions, while operators can deliver dynamic peak and off-peak pricing, and enhance visitor safety and security,” he said.

His comments comes as the UAE embarks on a major theme park building programme, with two parks recently opened in Dubai and more planned across the country including Al Ahli Holding Group’s Fox-branded complex which will be based on various Fox-owned creations like Rio, Predator and The Simpsons and is slated to open in 2020.

Abu Dhabi is also getting in on the theme park act with plans including Warner Bros and Seaworld.

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