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DEAL 2015


One of the industry’s largest trade shows, and the key event for the Middle East, returns to Dubai in a matter of weeks. So what’s the deal with DEAL?


All eyes back on Dubai


Despite the arrival earlier this month of the IAAPA Leadership Conference in the United Arab Emirates and even a new Theme Parks and Entertainment Development Summit in June, DEAL (Dubai Entertainment Amusement and Leisure) remains the region’s largest and most best established exhibition for theme park, FEC and attractions professionals. Over 30 new exhibitors are promised at this April’s


event, which will feature almost 200 stands in total, with companies coming from countries as diverse as Belgium, Canada, China, Hong Kong, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, UK, France, Turkey and USA, plus various Middle East nations of course. With the UAE now really gaining traction, plus projects further a field in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman and more, remarkable industry growth is predicted. Noteworthy new projects include the 8 million sq ft Mall of the World in


Dubai, which will include an indoor theme park, theatres, 100 hotels and apartments, and “wellness” facilities, the US$1.37 billion Vendome Mall at Lusail in Qatar, the US$1.37 bn Al Diriyah Festival City in Saudi Arabia, and the planned Muscat Festival City Mall in Oman. All are expected to include a leisure/attractions component. “Some years back it was possible for a retail mall to have its operations without an entertainment centre but not any longer,” notes Sharif Rahman, CEO of DEAL organiser International Expo Consults. “Family entertainment centres (FEC) are now a must have feature for every mega mall in this region, and visitors are increasingly stopping over to malls for entertainment rather than shopping.” Against this backdrop, Rahman observes, “2015


seems to be a promising year for the retail and entertainment industry. The industry has registered an exponential growth in revenue in the last 12 months. Malls with FECs have registered a considerable hike in earnings in the last few months mainly due to the influx of tourists from other regions. We can expect such facilities to grow at a fast pace in 2015 and beyond.


DEAL 2015 takes place from April 14 to 16 at the Dubai World Trade Centre. Both a Novotel and Ibis hotel adjoin the venue, or you may chose to stay in one of the plush offerings elsewhere in the Emirate. All the info you need is at dealmiddleeastshow.com


DEAL M17 (hall 1)


26 MARCH 2015

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