While Dubai is famous for its theme parks, Family Entertainment Centers (FEC) has been an important part of the entertainment and leisure industry in the region and continues to grow steadily. According to International Expo Consults, the organisers of the DEAL (Dubai Entertainment Amusement and Leisure) 2018 show, innovative products and new technology like Virtual Reality (VR) would play a huge role for FECs in the near future especially in Dubai.
FECs are mini theme parks and are a collection of more than one attraction including rides, soft-play equipment such as the plastic maze of tubes, slides and ball pits, kid’s play areas, video arcades, redemption and carnival games. A popular location for such zones is in shopping malls, where they are seamlessly integrated with the retail sector. Malls and FECs complement each other as they provide avenues for people of all ages, thereby increasing footfall.
According to Yuhanis Nawasreh, Sales & Development Manager, Warehouse of Games Ltd, “The FEC market in the MENA region is calm at the moment as compared to before. But the need for new games and new projects is still there. All the big operators are continuously looking for opportunities to invest and renovate their locations by adding new games. Utilising trade shows such as DEAL Middle East is a viable option to showcase our new games and products to the market. This year we would be launching games with license names and famous cartoon characters, such as the Rabbids, DC Her , Winter X Games, Despicable Me and Spongebob with wide variety of redemption games, video games, kiddie rides, photo machines and novelty games.”
Industry experts argue that since the rise in popularity of online marketplaces, retail has been slow to pull in the numbers of the yesteryears and it is the FECs that are increasing the footfall at the malls.
Another DEAL exhibitor from Switzerland – Kyona is upbeat about VR technology and its applications in FECs. Michel Baud-Bovy, Kyona commented, “For DEAL 2018, we would be showcasing the World Premier for Koliseum Soccer VR - a Soccer table using virtual reality technology. VR is the latest trend for the industry and according to reports augmented and virtual reality revenue is forecasted to hit US$150 billion by 2020. At DEAL we hope to find distributors and new customers for our products.”
“As the Expo 2020 mega event looms closer the shopping malls and attractions construction in Dubai have witnessed resurgence. The fact that the world expo is likely to attract more than 25 million visitors, 70% of whom are expected to come from nearly 200 countries from around the world has ignited the construction industry. This boom would positively influence the FEC industry to create more entertainment and leisure avenues for the visitors of the Expo and into the foreseeable future,” stated Mr. Sharif Rahman, CEO, IEC.
The DEAL show has shaped the region’s entertainment industry for the past two decades and it has brought together great minds and their world class innovations all under one umbrella. DEAL has led the amusement and entertainment space during this period and the testimony to this is the fact that exhibitors at last year’s show had signed high value contracts in just 3 days. Foraying into the 24th edition, DEAL 2018 expects to witness an even larger gathering of key players and visitors in the amusement industry from Middle East, Africa, US, Mediterranean and Asian countries.
DEAL, since its inception in 1995 has developed into an platform that gathers exhibitors, buyers, and professionals from the international amusement and entertainment industry. The show is slated to be held from 9-11 April 2018 at Halls 1 & Za’abeel Halls 1, 2, 3 at the iconic Dubai World Trade Centre.
About International Expo-Consults (IEC):
International Expo-Consults LLC (IEC) is an internationally recognized trade show management company with an impressive track record of over 20 years of operations in the Middle East and Asia Pacific region. The Exhibition arm of the Dubai-based conglomerate, the Falak Holding; IEC is the organiser of key exhibitions including Sign and Graphics Imaging (SGI), and the Dubai Entertainment, Amusement and Leisure show (DEAL). Falak Holding has been an industry pioneer for the last 30 years having diversified business interests including real estate development; retail - sports, fashion, home furnishings; exhibitions, medical diagnostics, trading and many more as part of its portfolio. Falak Holding is also a key stakeholder and investor in the prestigious Dubai Sports City project.
Source: White Water Public Relations