UAE set to rival Orlando as premier theme park destination, says PwC

The UAE is on track to become a serious rival to the world’s premier theme park destinations, according to a new report from PwC.

The report said that the Emirates can rival the likes of Orlando, Singapore and Hong Kong “if it takes a holistic approach to exploit its unique geographical location, high quality attractions and investment in infrastructure”.

The first phase of Dubai Parks and Resorts, which includes the Motiongate, Legoland and Bollywood parks, is scheduled to open next year, while IMG Worlds of Adventure is also under construction. Abu Dhabi meanwhile already hosts Ferrari World and Yas Waterworld.

The report added that the UAE already possesses characteristics and infrastructure to rival Orlando, which is home to Disney World, SeaWorld, Universal Studios Florida and Legoland.

“The UAE already rivals Orlando in the scale of its transport links, lodging and food and beverage sectors and its central global location – it is within four hours flight of 3 billion people

which is unrivalled,” it said.

“Within six years the UAE will have developed the other key ‘enablers’ to create serious competition to Orlando, and which main Asian destinations such as Singapore and Hong Kong.”

PwC estimates that the total Leisure and Entertainment market potential in the UAE is set to almost double to 45 million by 2021, with international tourists accounting for 30 million. Residents and friends and relatives of residents make up a further 15 million. PwC believes the theme parks in the pipeline will attract 18 million visits.

“The country has recognised that it needs to continue investment and focus on the quality of attractions, as well as appealing to a diverse visitor base from across the world,” said Philip Shepherd, partner, PwC Middle East Hospitality & Leisure Leader. “Coordination though between the Emirates is essential for success,”

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