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Dubai Parks and Resorts eyes 2020 Expo as park prepares for official launch

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With final preparations being made for the official opening of Motiongate Dubai and the wider Dubai Parks and Resorts next week, officials are keeping one eye on the future as the launch region prepares for the 2020 World Expo.

The three-park resort – which also features Legoland Dubai, Bollywood Parks and the Riverland shopping area – entered a soft opening on 31 October for the launch of Riverland and the Merlin-operated Legoland park, with Bollywood following closely on 17 November. On 16 December, Motiongate will become the third park to open, while the full puzzle will be completed when Six Flags Dubai arrives in Q4 2019.

“The market opportunity that we looked at was from a global perspective,” said Vinit Shah, chief strategy and business development officer at DBX Entertainments, parent company of Dubai Parks and Resorts, speaking to Attractions Management.

“You have California, Orlando and Paris in terms of theme park destinations, and then you have to jump across all the way to Hong Kong and China – there’s nothing like what we have in between."

Targeting guests within a four-to-eight hour flight radius and touted by many as ‘Orlando 2.0’, Shah said that while similar, the two destinations had much to offer individually.

“Dubai is different,” he said. “Orlando has its offering, but in Dubai it’s something completely different. You get the heat, you get the shopping, you get the desert and the high class hotels.”

With hotel occupancy currently booming and Dubai on target to attract 20 million tourists annually by 2020, the Dubai Tourism Authority sees its under-development or recently-opened theme parks including Dubai Parks & Resorts, IMG Worlds of Adventure, Fox World Dubai and Worlds of Legends as crucial in maintaining visitor numbers after the 2020 World Expo.

“In terms of location we are 10km from the Expo site,” said Shah. “There is going to be a lot of tourism coming in from the Expo and we are going to benefit from that.

“Six Flags is being built right now. Anticipated opening date is the final quarter of 2019. It gives us time to have everything up and running for the 2020 Expo.”

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With final preparations being made for the official opening of Motiongate Dubai and the wider Dubai Parks and Resorts next week, officials are keeping one eye on the future as the launch region prepares for the 2020 World Expo.
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