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$41 billion leisure projects underway in Middle East: report


More than $41 billion worth of leisure and entertainment projects are currently underway in the Middle East, according to a report from business intelligence platform ABiQ ahead of the upcoming Leisure, Entertainment and Attractions (LEA) conference in Dubai, UAE.

The LEA Conference, scheduled for March 13, 2023, aims to discuss the opportunities and challenges of the industry while focusing on achieving an exceptional guest experience.

The LEA meeting will be co-located with the 2023 Menalac Water Park Conference (March 12), Safety Day (March 14) and the annual Menalac Awards Ceremony (March 15).

The leisure and entertainment industry, especially in the GCC, is now regaining momentum after a few difficult years, the report said.

“Looking back, I would like to call 2022 the grand reopening of the entertainment industry, the journey from the ‘new normal’ to the ‘return to normal’,” said Fernando Medroa, Vice President Entertainment & Hospitality, Kuwait. Headquartered in Alshaya Group.

“In Kuwait, we noticed a shift in seeking entertainment locally, with public and private sector entities stepping up their presence in the country through initiatives such as Winter Wonderland, Cirque du Soleil, Disney on Ice, Disney Princess and Shrek.”

Alshaya Group has opened its own QUEST Tag Arena concept store at The Avenues Mall, which is also home to TEKZONE and KidZania. “In the last quarter of 2022, we opened a new Laser Arena at QUEST,” revealed Medroa.

Meanwhile, Mohammed Khalifa, manager of Seef Entertainment, commenting on Bahrain’s leisure and entertainment industry, said: “The entertainment industry generates an average revenue of between 6 and 8 million Bahrain dollars per year, and for a country with a population of 1.7 million, this is That’s right.”

Having said that, Bahrain has attracted a large number of tourists as part of the Kingdom’s economic recovery plan, which aims to attract 14.1 million tourists by 2026. This is expected to drive more leisure and entertainment-focused products.

A closer look at FEC
“Indoor entertainment centers in good locations are performing strongly and in most cases have surpassed pre-pandemic levels. Less attractive locations are performing Poor, whose portfolio includes Fun City, Fun Works, Fun Ville and more, has “definitely seen a significant increase” in visitor spending compared to the pre-Covid era.

“Overall, longer stays and higher spending suggest growth means customers entering entertainment venues are spending more time and money at the same location than pre-Covid,” Liedtke explained.

Liedtke observed that the indoor leisure and entertainment market in the GCC is at an “inflection point”.

Liedtke added: “Disruptors like VR and AR, strong IP-led product lines, and social entertainment are changing the landscape of our industry, resulting in a vibrant and dynamic market where new ideas, innovations, and concepts pop up almost every day. emerging.”

“It’s certainly a fantastic time to see creativity and diversity being brought into play. Landlords are keen to fill their malls with more than just retail. The choice for customers is huge now and will continue to grow. This certainly adds to the traditional FEC model This creates pressure to remain relevant and profitable, especially given cost pressures on rents, utilities and staff, as well as inflationary pressures on asset purchases.”

supply chain status
Can supply chain-related disruptions be overlooked amid signs of growth? An area that faces enormous challenges in 2021-22.

“Supply chain conditions have definitely improved since the chaotic period of 2021-22. Since December 2022, we have seen production lead times for products shrink. However, we are still not at the levels we were in the pre-Covid era This is why we often urge our clients to forecast and pre-plan their product orders based on their desired and planned opening dates,” shared Prakash Vivekanand, Managing Director, Amusement Services International LLC.

the road ahead
The depth and breadth of services has indeed increased with the emergence of several new and diverse leisure and entertainment facilities in the area. The region will always have investment interest and space for new attractions as technology paves the way for more engaging, stimulating, interactive and immersive content.

“The missing piece may be the guest experience across several leisure facilities. Consumers today demand better journeys and experiences, and the focus should be on complementing cutting-edge content with enhanced guest experiences to make every visit memorable,” Vivekanand observes.

In addition to an enhanced customer experience, today’s consumers demand more interaction, gamification and team play. Therefore, a range of products are being designed and adapted to meet this need. Such products must be backed by a sound operating strategy to deliver an experience and ensure repeat visits. – trade arab news agency


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