The Six Flags Dubai park might not be happening, but some of the thrill rides considered for the now-canceled park might still find their way into Dubai Parks & Resorts.
DXB Entertainments, which runs the three-park resort, announced in February that it would not proceed with its previously announced plans to add a fourth gate the resort, which opened in 2016. While attendance has been rising at Dubai Parks, the three theme parks there still average less than a million visitors a year each, making a tough business case for adding another park.
But that doesn't mean that the resort cannot, or should not, expand. In an announcement of 2018 financial results yesterday, DXB Entertainments outlined a plan to divert some of the resources planned for the Six Flags park to expansions of its Motiongate and Bollywood theme parks.
"As a result of our revised strategic review, an expansion plan is recommended that will, subject to shareholder approval, see world record rides placed into Motiongate Dubai and Bollywood Parks Dubai, delivering value to both our customers and shareholders," Mohamed Almulla, CEO and Managing Director of DXB Entertainments said.
After mentioning the halt to the Six Flags project, the company's press release continues:
Board of Directors is recommending to utilise a select portfolio of the available rides to further enhance the consumer experience at two of Dubai Parks and Resort’s key assets, MOTIONGATE Dubai and Bollywood Parks Dubai.
Remaining rides will be stored and installed as part of ongoing annual enhancement capex, ensuring that the consumer offering is protected into the future.
The proposed expansion will be funded through existing cash reserves with no additional debt and any remaining surplus funds will be utilised for corporate purposes.
While the Bollywood park is beautiful and Motiongate includes the widely-praised Dreamworks Animation pavilion, the resort as a whole lacks the world-class attractions that its competitor Yas Island in neighboring Abu Dhabi offers, including the world' fastest roller coaster, Formula Rossa, at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi and the Batman: Knight Flight robot-arm dark ride at Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi. DXB Entertainments' goal to add "world record rides" to its line-up should help extend the appeal of the resort, which already covers the family market well with its Legoland Dubai park.
DXB Entertainments noted that 60 percent of its visitors last year came from the United Arab Emirates and that it intends to attract more international visitors to its parks in 2019 and beyond. With Dubai being one of the world's leading tourist destinations, it just doesn't make sense to leave that potential money on the table to run Dubai Parks as an attraction for locals. But theme park fans from Europe, the rest of Asia, and the Americas want world-class attractions to justify the long trip to Dubai. How well DXB Entertainments delivers them will determine this resort's future.Tweet
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