Theme parks to propel 50 per cent growth in Dubai timeshares
Dubai Parks and Resorts expects over 6.7m ticketed visits in 2017.
A scale model of Dubai Parks and Resorts. The timeshare industry in Dubai will be driven by millions of tourists to the three theme parks that will open by the end of 2016. KT photo by Shihab
Dubai: The timeshare industry in Dubai will grow by 50 per cent in 2017, driven by millions of tourists to the three theme parks that will open at the end of 2016.
Dubai is set to replicate the success story of Orlando, a major city in the US state of Florida, according to Arabian Falcon Holidays (AFH), the largest independent timeshare sales and marketing company in the Middle East.
“Dubai Parks and Resorts, the operator of Middle East’s largest multi-themed leisure and entertainment destination, expects over 6.7 million ticketed visits in 2017. That’s a huge number in the first year and will aid in the growth of the timeshare market here,” said Mohannad Sharafuddin, chairman and chief executive officer of Arabian Falcon Holidays.
He added: “The timeshare market will grow exponentially in 2017, surpassing the growth rates of 15 to 20 per cent per year, and heralding a new era with an annual growth rate of 50 per cent, primarily driven by tourists visiting these theme parks.”
According to US media reports, Florida drew a record 97.3 million visitors in 2014 buoyed by an improving economy and theme-park attractions.
A study by Ernst & Young for the American Resort Development Association, a trade association representing the vacation ownership and resort development industries, revealed the US timeshare industry contributed an estimated $68.7 billion in consumer and business spending to the national economy in 2013.
“The economic impact of the theme park on the timeshare market is relevant to Dubai as well. It will increase the number of tourists from Africa and Asia by leaps and bounds, making it the top timeshare destination in the Middle East and North Africa. It will also add more than Dh14 billion by 2020 to the emirate’s economy,” Sharafuddin said.
The three parks that are currently under construction are: Motiongate, Legoland Dubai, and Bollywood Parks. The parks are located in close proximity to Al Maktoum International Airport and will be connected to Dubai Metro lines and other rail links to help facilitate access for tourists and residents.
Another attraction is the $6.81 billion Mall of the World project by Dubai Holding, a global investment holding company, which will have a glass-domed theme park, the largest in the world. The mall is set to become one of the prime tourist destinations and is expected to be constructed over a period of 10 years.
“Dubai’s location, significant existing attractions and strong tourism infrastructure position it well to benefit from anticipated strong tourism growth in the Middle East,” Sharafuddin said.
According to the 2014 UNWTO Tourism Highlights Report, the Middle East is expected to be the fastest growing region in the world for inbound tourism with visitor numbers expected to reach 149 million in 2030 compared to 52 million in 2013. Dubai is aiming to attract more than 25 million tourists by 2020 compared with 10 million in 2012.
In addition to sound local fundamentals, Dubai benefits from being one of the leading global tourism and commercial centres in the Middle East, with approximately three billion people within a four-hour flight time and six billion within an eight-hour flight.
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