Dubai Parks looks to expand Motiongate and Bollywood parks

March 29, 2019, 1:21 PM · 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.

Replies (6)

March 29, 2019 at 2:04 PM

The promised oasis is still just an empty mirage

March 29, 2019 at 2:38 PM

There they go again. Just like with their skylines, they're more concerned with world records than anything of substance.

There is no world record for best story, unfortunately.

March 29, 2019 at 3:49 PM

DXB knew that they needed to be a multi day resort to be viable. So they figured that they needed multiple gates to encourage multi day visits. Okay, fine. But then they took a budget that could have built one solid park and divided it among three gates.

If they want to go world class, it can’t be by finessing some coaster spec to get a record no one cares about. They will need to invest in a budget for something that will make people go online and scream how cool this new thing is.

March 30, 2019 at 4:57 AM

The thing with world records is that they are broken the next year.
Non of the top world class theme park and industry leaders build their brand on world records but world class world building an unique rides. They also for a large part have cultural relevant and are non generic.
Sure it wouldn't hurt the "resort" but it will neither make it a world class destination for theme park lovers.

March 30, 2019 at 5:11 PM

>>>Non of the top world class theme park and industry leaders build their brand on world records but world class world building an unique rides.

True, but it's a quick and relatively easy headline.

April 5, 2019 at 7:09 AM

I go to the UAE on business a lot, and it's just too darn hot most of the year for outdoor theme parks. A great part of the theme park experience is simply being outside, walking around and enjoying the grounds. And indoor theme parks are depressing and claustrophobic with the dim lighting and enclosed space. The Warner Bros. park in Abu Dhabi is wonderful, but I'm in no rush to go back after an initial visit. I don't think the Emiratis can beat the climate issue, which, on the flip side, is why the water parks in Dubai and Abu Dhabi are successful.

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