x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Global Village expects to host 5 million visitors in 4-month season

Global Village expects to see 5 million visitors this year, up from 4.4m last year.

Global Village expects to see 5 million visitors this year, up from 4.4m last year. Pawan Singh / The National
Global Village expects to see 5 million visitors this year, up from 4.4m last year. Pawan Singh / The National

Global Village expects 5 million visitors this year as it benefits from an influx of tourists into Dubai.

The retail and entertainment theme park opens tomorrow for 124 days until early March, more than two weeks longer than last year.

"Every year we plan on an increase in visitors, but because of some new shows, we are expecting 5 million visitors this year," said Saeed Ali bin Redha, the chief executive of Global Village.

The theme park will put on some 4,000 shows during four months and host more than 40 pavilions, each representing a country.

New this year will be dancing fountain displays taking place regularly throughout the day; a motorbike spectacle, Wheels of Danger, taking place in a giant cage; and a Chinese acrobatic circus, the Shandong Troupe.

"They are incentives for people to come back to the park and experience something different and new," said Abhishek Mathur, the director of culture and entertainment at Global Village.

The theme park received 4.4 million visitors in each of the past two years, with numbers peaking in 2004 with 5.2 million.

Visitor forecasts for this year do not look overly ambitious, given a noticeable increase in tourism through Dubai so far this year.

The emirate has benefited from unrest elsewhere in the Middle East and an increase in airline routes has also helped to boost traveller numbers. About 4.2 million passengers passed through Dubai International Airport last month versus 3.9 million in the same month last year.

There was also an increase last month in revenue per available hotel room to US$135.10 (Dh496.22), 20.4 per cent more than for the same period last year, despite an increase in supply of hotel rooms, according to data from the research company STR Global.

Global consumer confidence did dip in the third quarter, according to Nielsen, an information company, although this masked sharp increases in confidence in emerging markets and Gulf countries.

"We always strive to be part of the Dubai vision, which focuses on ongoing development and improving the services delivered to its visitors," said Mr bin Redha.

Global Village is one of few parts of the stalled Dubailand development that are fully operational.

rjones@thenational.ae