How has your company’s recovery been?
Extremely well. Before I talk about my company, I would prefer to talk about Dubai as a destination and everybody knows around the world that Dubai was one of the fastest to proceed to normal channels of travel via few important corridors and India is one of them. So, the whole destination has recovered rather well. We, as Dubai Holding Entertainment, have a very strong network of clients and partners in India that helped us to recover quickly. We have been in the Indian market for many years. We have a very solid and strong relationship with many travel and trade companies that helped us to recover fast.
Which of the theme parks have been the fastest in terms of growth?
All of them! DHE, in the past 18 months, has been through a major integration of the assets. It started with Dubai Parks and Resorts (DPR) which comprises four parks namely Motiongate Dubai, Bollywood Parks Dubai, Legoland Dubai, and Legoland Water Park. Then, we expanded the portfolio with the Green Planet, Laguna Waterpark, Inside Burj Al Arab among others. The Global Village has always been a successful business and has seen a very strong growth year-on-year. In fact, we have been extremely satisfied with our numbers across all our destinations from the Indian market.
Which of your theme parks is the most popular amongst Indians?
It’s very difficult to say because each theme park has a different client and age-group. So Indian teenagers, they love going to Motiongate Dubai because of the high-tech rollercoasters and other offerings. Senior Indians get attached to Bollywood Parks Dubai. Global village has a mix of everything. Legoland Dubai is for families who have kids between the ages of 2 and 12. Green Planet is also for children and families. As I mentioned, each demographic or each group has different needs.
How important is India for you?
Over the past few years, India has been a very strong source market for us. We, at Dubai Holding Entertainment, today ensure that we serve all our source markets with their demands and needs. We continually monitor the data to be able to perceive what our client wants. And so, we keep on enhancing and improving our offerings across the groups to get satisfactory results.
What percentage of your visitation or revenue comes from India?
For a while, India sits on the top three source markets for us with a very strong growth year-on-year.
Which are the other key markets?
GCC and Russia and the CIS have been successful markets for us.
How do you compete with Yas Island that is another entertainment destination very popular with Indians?
Let’s talk about Yas Island, we never compete with each other. I think we complement each other. Each one of these assets. Again, the United Arab Emirates has always been very well-known with their top brands and very high quality. With us and Yas Island, we only complement each other, we have different offerings and are in different emirates. Then, I think it is more to do with where your traveller has access to a quick theme park and I talk about the theme parks in particular. So, for people in Malaysia and Indonesia, may be Sentosa is closer in terms of the distance but again this plants the seed, creates the awareness of how important the theme parks are. So whenever they come to the UAE, they look for theme parks.
What is your plan for this year? Are you adding more theme parks?
In the last quarter of 2022, we announced a partnership with Real Madrid. Watch this space for a very exciting theme park with Real Madrid within Dubai Parks and Resorts. We have just launched Dino Mania, a dinosaur parade in Riverland Dubai in Dubai Parks and Resorts and you can see it on our social media where we have a beautiful parade of dinosaurs walking with the kids and playing with them. We are announcing very soon a small attraction, and in the plans many. When it’s the right time, I will let you know. That’s for Dubai Parks and Resorts. As for the other assets, Global Village has, every year, something new to offer. Next year will be bigger and better and that’s what we do in Dubai. Also, Dubai Holding Entertainment has taken over the management of Wild Wadi. It is the latest addition to our theme parks.