The UAE is boosting the Middle East and Africa as the world’s fastest-growing amusement park market through 2023, with spend topping USD 609 million by 2023, industry experts announced.
As the UAE’s indoor and outdoor amusement parks continue to mature and attract millions of global visitors, regional amusement park spend is set to more than double from USD 266 million in 2018 to USD 609 million by 2023, according to a recent report by the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA).
“The UAE’s numerous amusement parks continue to drive the Middle East and Africa as the world’s fastest-growing theme park market,” said Savitha Bhaskar, COO at Condo Protego, the leading UAE-based IT infrastructure and information management consultancy and solutions provider. “Digital customer services are supporting new levels of staff and guest safety amid the global pandemic.”
Already, most of the UAE’s amusement parks have re-opened or plan to re-open in September, with reduced operating capacity and strict safety for staff and guests.
For example, Dubai Parks and Resorts and IMG Worlds of Adventure in Dubai have health and safety features such as thermal cameras, social distancing, and rides sanitization. On Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, Ferrari World, Warner Bros. World, and Yas Waterworld are welcoming visitors at 30 percent capacity.
As the UAE emerges from the pandemic to a “new normal,” UAE and Middle East amusement parks are accelerating their digital transformation. New digital solutions are helping to enhance guest health and safety, and to maintain social distancing.
Online, mobile, and cloud-based services are seeing strong take-up. Guests at many theme parks can use mobile apps for ticketing, concessions, gift shop purchases, and digital payments to reduce in-person interactions and cash transactions.
Some futurists are also predicting a rise in virtual amusement parks, which can provide an immersive virtual reality experience for guests who cannot visit in-person.
“While mobile apps and digital payments are being driven by social distancing standards, they will quickly become the new normal in the UAE and Middle East,” added Savitha Bhaskar. “Amusement parks can gain better guest insights, deliver targeted marketing offers, and free up staff to focus on tasks that deliver value. Thanks to the UAE’s nationwide digital transformation, the country is ideally positioned to be a global leader in the digitizing of amusement park experiences.”