Theme park operator looks to attract visitors from India, Saudi Arabia and the UK

DXB Entertainments will open the first Legoland Hotel in the Middle East in Dubai Parks and Resorts. The seventh such property to open worldwide, the hotel will be a 60:40 joint venture between DXB Entertainments and Merlin Entertainments and will be operated by the latter once opened. The companies did not specify an opening date.

On Tuesday, the theme park operator reported revenue of Dh75.9 million, of which Dh63.4 million was theme park revenue. The theme park revenue came from Legoland Dubai in November and December and a few weeks for Bollywood Parks Dubai and Motiongate Dubai.

DXB Entertainments posted a loss of Dh485 million for 2016 in comparison with a loss of Dh110.9m in 2015. “A large portion of our loss reflects pre-opening expenses which are captured within our project cost,” said Raed Kajoor Al Nuaimi, CEO of DXB Entertainments.

The Dubai Parks and Resorts complex received over 300,000 visitors in the last two months of 2016.

“The coming quarters will be more indicative of the destination’s appeal to visitors from across the globe as we start attracting business from global tour and travel operators,” said Al Nuaimi.

The company, which has around 3,100 employees, is marketing the destination in Saudi Arabia, India and the UK and has also tied up with 120 hotels in Dubai to promote the parks.

The integrated theme park destination had a staggered opening, starting with Legoland Dubai and Riverland Dubai followed by Bollywood Parks Dubai, Motiongate Dubai, the Lapita Hotel and the Legoland Water Park.

The firm signed leases for 51 units at Riverland Dubai, representing 84 per cent of the available space, at the end of December. By the end of the year, over half the units at Riverland Dubai were operational.

“Our projects team is focused on delivering the last remaining elements in Motiongate Dubai, and we expect all remaining rides and attractions as well as the remaining units at Riverland Dubai to be available to the public by the beginning of the second quarter,” informed Al Nuaimi.

The Six Flags Dubai resort is on track to open in late 2019 after construction started in July. Work is ongoing to finalise the design and infrastructure tenders, as well as having seven ride contracts in final stages.

Dxb Entertainments had drawn down Dh3.4 billion of its Dh4.2 billion financing facility for phase one of Dubai Parks and Resorts.

The company is exploring additional revenue streams including to provide project management services to developer Meraas including for the Dubai Arena, the half-million-square-foot entertainment destination due to open late next year.

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