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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 October 2018

DXB Entertainments visitors increased 4.5% in third quarter

The theme park operator said the results were in line with expectations in the slow summer period

In the first nine months of this year, visitor numbers rose 33 per cent to 1.96 million from a year earlier. Legoland Dubai
In the first nine months of this year, visitor numbers rose 33 per cent to 1.96 million from a year earlier. Legoland Dubai

DXB Entertainments, the theme park operator for Legoland and Motiongate, said on Monday that visitor numbers to its Dubai Parks and Resorts in the third quarter rose 4.5 per cent, in line with company expectations.

Visitor numbers in the first quarter rose to 501,000 from 479,000 a year earlier, the DXBE said. In the first nine months of this year, numbers rose 33 per cent to 1.96 million from a year earlier period.

“August saw an increase in visits as the parks benefited from the Eid holidays, whereas September saw a slow down as the new school year started,” the company said. “Q3 2018 visits are in line with, and reflect, the expected impact of seasonality.”

DXBE, in which Dubai developer Meraas holds a 52.3 per cent stake, said in August it will review its future expansion plans after narrowing its second-quarter loss on higher visitor numbers and lower costs.

The company's second quarter loss narrowed 11 per cent to Dh255 million from a year earlier. The figure came below Sico Bahrain's projected loss of Dh203.6m and Egyptian bank EFG Hermes' estimated loss of Dh207m, according to a Reuters poll.

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DXB Entertainments reports 45% increase in visitor numbers in Q1

DXB Entertainments to review expansion after Q2 loss narrows

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Following years of few entertainment options in the Arabian Gulf, the region is seeing an upswing in the number of theme parks and attractions, but some have faced initial problems. Launched in late 2016 in phases, DXBE struggled to meet its initial target for visitor numbers, leading it to slash costs and ticket prices. This year will be the first when all of its main attractions are open.

“As we head into our peak fourth quarter we are optimistic that we will continue on this growth trajectory,” said Mohamed Almulla, chief executive and managing director of DXBE.

DXBE expects its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation loss to narrow in 2018 compared to last year when it reached Dh422m, a company spokeswoman said in response to questions in August. She declined to provide guidance on full-year visitor numbers and revenues or timeline for break-even. Quarterly ebitda loss fell 39 per cent to Dh67m year-on-year.