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International interest in multi billion USD Middle East Amusement Industry Surges

Author: Property World Middle East

As the boom in the amusement and the leisure industry in the Middle East continues unabated, Dubai Entertainment Amusement and Leisure Show - the region’s largest trade event is all set to offer an unprecedented deal from 22-24 April 2007 at the Dubai International Exhibition Centre.

Global leaders across 50 categories from the amusement, leisure and retail industries would be showcasing their products. Industry analysts, key decision makers, retail developers and consultants, and media managers would converge in Dubai to evaluate and capitlise on the opportunities created by one of the world’s fastest growing markets.

Organised by International Expo Consults, the 13th edition of the event would be a single window showcase for the largest range of products put together by 180 international exhibitors from 25 countries. The 2007 show will be bigger and more diversified than last year show which was attended by 162 international exhibitors and showcased a dedicated national pavilion from Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and Industry, U.K.

The business potential of the amusement, leisure and entertainment industries in the Middle East is pegged above US$ 10 billion, excluding the land and the construction costs. Additionally, industry analysts project a stupendous 27 per cent growth rate for the next few years. These factors along with the most ambitious construction boom across the entire Middle East have catapulted the region into an area of key interest for international industry and observers alike.

Announcing the show, Mr. Abdul Rehman Falaknaz, President, International Expo Consults, said, “The Pan Arab Amusement & Entertainment market is developing at an unprecedented pace with mega projects like the US$ 3 billion Attractions and Experience World – part of the Dubailand in Dubai, Durrat al-Arus in Saudi Arabia - the third largest recreational city in the world; Iceberg Towers in Bahrain at a cost of US$ 175 million, besides other recreational projects in Oman, Qatar, Jordan, Kuwait and Lebanon. Most of these projects already underway offer immense opportunities for entertainment , recreation, and the leisure industry.”

The UAE itself has emerged as the Middle East hub for the international amusement and recreation industry. This is clear from the fact that UAE topped the list of GCC countries in terms of real estate projects under construction as of June 2005. Having grabbed 820 out of a total of 1,825 projects, according to a local study, pegged at AED 130.6 billion, the UAE is followed by Saudi Arabia , with 208 projects accounting for AED 28.9 billion in terms of investment .

As the GCC countries are focusing on diversifying their economies and veering away from the petro - dollars, real estate has emerged as the biggest driver for growth across region. The investment value of projects under way in other GCC countries is pegged at AED42.12billion

Dubai is clearly spearheading this growth with projects worth an estimated AED 300 billion coming up in the next 10 years. According to the recently released information by Dubai Municipality, around US$ 1.5 billion worth of buildings in Dubai, hit the market in the first six months of 2006. The mix comprised US$ 833 million worth of commercial buildings, US$ 387 million in recreational and industrial developments and residential worth US$ 297 million.

Driven by the vision of UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, all the developments in Dubai synergise with its aim of evolving into a preferred tourist, entertainment and recreation destination in the world.

Most of the construction underway is mixed-use banking heavily on the lifestyle, recreational and entertainment aspects. This synergy is perfectly highlighted by a string of recreational projects that have either emerged as exclusive projects or as part of the mega projects like the awesome US$ 36 billion, Dubailand. Planned around six themed concepts - recreation, leisure and entertainment are central to this unique project that stands unparalleled in terms of ambition and scope.

These market indicators have clearly catalysed an interest in the exciting and unprecedented opportunities available. DEAL itself is riding the opportunity wave. This was confirmed by Mr. Falaknaz, “We are expecting a 20 per cent growth for the Dubai Entertainment Amusement & Leisure show in 2007. The surging international interest in the trade show mirrors the rapid growth in the region and the eagerness of the international industry to tap the immense opportunities. DEAL provides a perfect opportunity to view the best, latest and the most popular products and concepts the industry has to offer.”

The show has consistently attracted impressive participation. The 2006 show attracted visitors from 81 countries, including a substantial turn-out from GCC countries. Key decision makers and representatives from the senior management contributed 40 percent to the total visitor turn-out.

Representatives from the government, trade centres, tourism and travel industry, various developmental boards, recreational and retail properties, proprietors of huge theme parks, real estate developers, consultants and international media got a first hand preview of the latest, most inspiring and the most amusing industry products from across the world.

Recounting the 2006 participation experience Mr. Jose J. Saus, Sales & Marketing Director Falgas, Spain said, “DEAL is playing a pioneering role in building the industry in this region and is a meeting point for international manufacturers and local operators.”

The only international B2B event in its category for the MENA markets , the show was re-branded as DEAL after enjoying huge success for over a decade as Theme Parks & Fun Centres Show (TPFC). The scope of the event has been tremendously extended to accommodate the emerging diversification within the market. The event has been responsible for launching some of the best known international brands in the Middle East markets.


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