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‘Family entertainment centres’ in malls to boost retail sector in 2013

United Arab Emirates: Sunday, March 24 - 2013 @ 11:21

IEC is the organiser of DEAL 2013 (Dubai Entertainment Amusement and Leisure’ show), the largest show for the themeparks and amusement industry in the Middle East.

DEAL show has grown exponentially and the show ranks second only to IAAPA.

The company is expecting over 250 exhibitors from across 33 countries and the 2013 edition of the show also expects to attract over 7000 trade visitors. Exhibitors last year have signed contracts worth over $220m.

These contracts were for all the equipments, rides and other innovative products and projects that were being rolled out during the course of the year.

‘DEAL 2013’ is the region’s annual focal point for all stakeholders in the amusement and related industries looking for a successful entry or greater growth in the region. The event is scheduled to take place from April 23-25, at The Arena, Dubai World Trade Centre.

With last year’s show generating a record number of exhibitors and visitors, and most of them pledging to return, DEAL 2013 is expected to witness an even larger gathering of key players and visitors in the amusement industry from Europe, US, Middle East, African, Mediterranean and Asian countries among other geographies.

Abdul Rahman Falaknaz, Chairman of IEC, stated, “We are in the Middle East and we know that due to the climate we cannot have outdoor theme parks through-out the year as in other parts of the world. We have to be logical in our approach and take into account cost benefits and feasibility analysis. We have to create facilities indoors for a 365-day approach so that people can enjoy the facilities throughout the year, regardless of climate.”

“Leisure in general is an important component of malls: it brings families and their kids together. The trend is towards ‘the new age retail entertainment’ where a large retail entity supports an entertainment zone that includes not just rides but cinemas, food and beverages among other forms of entertainment,” added Mr. Falaknaz.

DEAL 2012 welcomed several of the amusement industry’s leaders, with regional and global names such as Amusement Services International (ASI), Warehouse of Games, Zamperla, Moser Rides, PRO-FAB, Brunswick, EOS Rides, Polin Waterparks and Pool Systems and Rainbow Productions among several other industry leaders from across the globe.

“This year looks promising for our industry as most amusement operations have registered a growth in revenue and footfall year on year. We are confident that the amusement industry in the region is heading in the right direction. FEC’s are key service anchors that support the many retail developments within the Middle East. It helps such developments to attract and register family footfall. Consumers can today make their retail purchases from their smart devices. However, the key differentiator that drives people to the brick and mortar retail stores is not just the product but also the other leisure & entertainment facilities within a mall,” said Mr.Sharif Rahman, CEO, IEC.

“Some of the malls with the FECs have recorded a substantial increase in earnings in the last few months. The reason for this surge in earnings is due to the influx of tourists from other regions and also the volatility in other markets. We foresee the industry to grow at a rapid pace in 2013 and beyond. The FECs will perform even better during the next few quarters due to the change in the climate and forthcoming vacation season. FEC’s actually complement the retail industry to a large extent and without FEC’s the whole retail puzzle is largely incomplete. There are several new projects coming up in Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Oman and the region is set to witness a remarkable growth in the entertainment sector in the near future,” added Mr. Rahman.

“Ages 2-12 are the biggest spenders on the entertainment segment but the past couple of years have seen a strong emergence of the market between the ages of 14 and 21. Industry experts said indoor entertainment was the best performing segment in the amusement parks market. Indoor theme parks are here to stay. You can go to an outdoor theme park about twice a year, but you’re more likely to go to the mall every week and therefore the indoor theme park will grow at a phenomenal rate in the near future,” concluded Mr.Rahman.

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Sunday, March 24- 2013 @ 11:21 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.

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