DXB Entertainments visitors number jumps 2.9% in Q4 on seasonal upswing
Theme-parks operator recorded 22% rise in visitors in 2018 to 2.8 million people
DXB Entertainments, the theme-parks operator, said visitor numbers to its Dubai Parks and Resorts rose 2.9 per cent in the fourth quarter of last year, boosted by school holidays and the start of winter season.
The company recorded 819,000 visitors for the three moths to the end of December from 796,000 in the same period a year ago, DXB Entertainments said in a statement to the Dubai Financial Market, where its shares are traded.
The theme parks attracted 2.8 million visitors over 12 months in 2018, a 22 per cent rise year-on-year jump, after it introduced an annual pass programme and more international tourists flocked to its parks.
"The last quarter of the year benefited from winter seasonality, with Halloween, UAE's 47th anniversary and the winter school break and holidays boosting visitor numbers," the company said in the bourse filing.
DXB Entertainments, in which Dubai developer Meraas holds a 52.3 per cent stake, in November said it is conducting a strategic review of Dubai Parks and Resorts that may delay the opening of Six Flags Dubai theme park.
The company, which reported narrowed third-quarter losses, had also reached a deal in March to restructure Dh4.2 billion in debt and received fresh funding from Meraas.
The theme-parks operator plans to increase visitor numbers in 2019 by attracting more tourists, Mohamed Almulla, chief executive and managing director of DXB Entertainments, said without providing guidance for 2019 visitor targets.
“Looking ahead to 2019, our priority is to continue increasing footfall from international tourists, which is a key growth driver for the destination, while also maintaining the solid base of local and regional visitors," Mr Almulla said. " We all look forward to continue on this growth trajectory during 2019 and beyond.”
Following years of few entertainment options in the Arabian Gulf, the region is seeing a rise in the number of theme parks and attractions, but some have faced initial problems. Launched in late 2016 in phases, DXB Entertainments struggled to meet its initial target for visitor numbers, leading it to slash costs and ticket prices. Last year was the first year in which all of its main attractions were open.
The company shrank its third-quarter losses by 4.5 per cent to record a net loss of Dh271.4 million in the period ended September 30, missing the median estimate of Dh256.5 of two analysts polled by Bloomberg. It has yet to report fourth quarter earnings.
DXB Entertainments owns Dubai Parks and Resorts, a group of theme parks including Motiongate and Legoland.
Updated: January 14, 2019 11:32 AM