UAE theme parks with ‘edutainment’ feature could witness increase in demand: Falaknaz

Sunday 27 March 2016

Dubai - MENA Herald: Abdul Rahman Falaknaz, Chairman of International Expo Consults (IEC) stated that theme park and family entertainment center operators focusing on the educational and interactive aspect of the amusement industry will see a growth in demand. The rise of ‘eduplay’ or educational play theme parks reflects international stakeholders’ interest in the Middle East’s entertainment and retail industry. IEC is the organizer of the Dubai Entertainment Amusement and Leisure (DEAL) Show.
The rise of edutainment zones like Menopolis, Kidzania, Doha’s Kidzmondo, Dubai Dolphinarium and Mattel! Play Town is in line with the region’s vision to transform itself into a sought-after family tourism destination. PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) predicts that the current and upcoming UAE amusement tourist destinations is set to attract about 18 million theme park visits in the next five years. The Dubai Entertainment Amusement and Leisure (DEAL) Show 2016, the industry’s biggest and most successful trade show outside of the United States will showcase the latest innovations and concepts in theme parks and family entertainment centres (FECs).
“There is a huge demand for creative edutainment theme parks and FECs in the region. The eduplay concept is one of the most effective ways to educate today’s young generations or the digital natives as they are referred to now. These amusement parks challenge the critical thinking of kids, enhances their creativity and skills with these educational play experiences,” says Abdul Rahman Falaknaz, Chairman of IEC.
Latest edutainment-focused theme park concepts, products and services would be displayed at the DEAL Show next month. DEAL is considered as the most important amusement industry exhibition outside the United States as it attracts various visitors from all over the world. Fifty-two percent of the global visitors are from the top level management who are capable of making on the spot decisions on the behalf of their company and thirty eight percent are second-tier decision makers.
“Another way of building a sustainable business is to offer a diverse array of attractions and entertainment so that each zone contains a broad mix of interactive rides that appeal to guests of all ages and interests. Offering an original and unique experience is of utmost importance,” says Lennard Otto, CEO of IMG World of Adventure.
“Edutainment parks offer activities that are reality-based, educational, and interactive. Incorporated with artistic, athletic, literature, STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) activities, these theme park and FECs deliver an educational and immersive experience through sensory play,” said Sharif Rahman, CEO, IEC.
“At Minopolis, we offer them real-life experiences, including cooking food, earning money and so on. For example, we teach them banking as well as what goes into flying an aircraft. We let them have fun with interactive activities,” Mishal Al Hokair, Deputy CEO of Al-Hokair explains. Minopolis, a joint venture between Al-Hokair Group and an Austrian company, is an edutainment concept that explores a child’s imagination, helps acquire language skills, build social skills, problem solving, understand someone else's perspective, learn essential life skills from adults, discover leadership skills, safely explore the real world and acquire sense of self-confidence.
DEAL 2015 saw contract signings by exhibitors worth over AED 1.2 billion, which is almost a 50% increase compared to DEAL 2013. The show will be held from 19th to 21st April, 2016 at Zabeel Halls 4, 5 and 6 in the Dubai World Trade Center, Dubai, UAE.

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