Koelnmesse GmbH / FSB
Koelnmesse GmbH / FSB
Koelnmesse GmbH / FSB

Exclusive: Dubai Parks & Resorts to boost region's tourism aspirations ahead of 2020 Expo

Matthew Priddy, chief technical officer for the US$2.9bn (€2.6bn, £2bn) Dubai Parks & Resorts development opening later this year, has said that the mega-resort’s launch will kickstart a tourism influx in the emirate as Dubai gears up for the 2020 Expo.

With hotel occupancy booming and Dubai on target to attract 20 million tourists annually by 2020, the Dubai Tourism Authority sees under-development theme parks including Dubai Parks & Resorts, IMG Worlds of Adventure and Fox World Dubai as crucial in maintaining visitor numbers after the 2020 World Expo.

“This I think is kicking off that whole 2020 frame of mind here in Dubai, said Priddy speaking exclusively to Attractions Management. “For our first year we’re predicting 5.5 million visitors. As Dubai’s place on the map grows, by the time we get to 2020 we think we’ll be exceeding those numbers.”

Priddy – who has worked for more than 35 years in the theme park industry, spending 21 years with Walt Disney Imagineering – will have worked on 10 theme park projects from the ground up when the resort opens, with Legoland Dubai, Motiongate and Bollywood Parks being parks 8,9 and 10. The industry veteran is heading up a team of 40 who have more than 500 years of theme park experience between them.

“It’s important that any country in this region diversifies their economy,” said Priddy. “Dubai is more widely known for its real estate, to some extent its oil, and now it's going to be known as a tourist entertainment destination. We think it’s very sustainable.

“There were a couple of factors in selecting Dubai for the resort. The infrastructure was one of them. We have the hotels, we’ve got great airline services and the ability for us to absorb that many guests is essentially already there. In addition there really aren’t any multi-day mega resorts like this in the region. The closest would be EuroDisney but in terms of the Orlando-like effect there’s nothing like it within a 6-10 hour radius by air. That makes the destination.”

In recent weeks, the heads of the UAE’s leading theme park developments have hailed the potential of Dubai emulating Orlando and becoming an international theme park hub.

“There are numerous parks and developments currently in the region and we don’t consider them competition, we consider them complementary” said Priddy.

“Just like Orlando, which is a destination city for theme parks, that’s what is going to end up happening here in Dubai. I can think of half-a-dozen theme park projects under development in the area, not to mention the 2020 Expo. We look at those projects as complementary as they make people looking for that destination stay maybe a week as opposed to a couple of days. When that critical mass is in play then you’re going to have a regionally beneficial development from a both tourist and economical standpoint.”

The resort will be the largest in the Gulf region, using world class ride developers for its parks, including Mack, Gerstlauer, ETF, Zamperla, S&M, Dynamic Attractions, Holovis and Simworx. Harnessing the experience of these industry experts, the three under-development parks will use a tried-and-tested method rather than an experimental approach.

“On the ride side of things, one of the things we did at Disney was invent on the critical path,” continued Priddy. “Here we’ve chosen not to do that. We’ve chosen to go with state-of-the-art systems that we know have been installed elsewhere and have been operated effectively but still bring you that world-class experience.

“We have roughly 85 shows, rides and attractions across the three parks. All the rides are purchased – we have 10 of them being installed as we speak. We are on budget and we are on track with all three parks for our opening date of October 2016.”

Dubai Parks & Resorts  Dubai  Middle East  Motiongate  Bollywood Parks  Legoland Dubai  Legoland  UAE  United Arab Emirates 
Related stories
07 Jan 2016

Exclusive: Dubai primed for attractions boom, says Worlds of Adventure CEO

11 Dec 2015

Exclusive: Dubai's theme park boom offers new gateway to Europe, says Fox executive

05 Nov 2015

Dubai's theme park sector continues to heat up with 2018 addition of 20th Century Fox World

05 Nov 2015

Lionsgate uses Hunger Games to feed theme park ambitions

15 Sep 2015

Dubai Parks and Resorts teams with Orlando University to train Emirati students in theme park management

17 Jun 2015

IMG Worlds of Adventure masterplanner Falcon's Creative unveils Avengers ride

01 Apr 2015

Hunger Games confirmed for Motiongate Dubai as part of Lionsgate Zone

09 Sep 2014

HOK-Arup Consortium to design Dubai Expo 2020

Matthew Priddy, chief technical officer for the US$2.9bn (€2.6bn, £2bn) Dubai Parks & Resorts development opening later this year, has said that the mega-resort’s launch will kickstart a tourism influx in the emirate as Dubai gears up for the 2020 Expo. With hotel occupancy booming and Dubai on target to attract 20 million tourists annually by 2020, the Dubai Tourism Authority sees under-development theme parks including Dubai Parks & Resorts,
The theme park is currently under development with an opening date set for October 2016 / Dubai Parks & Resorts
More news
News stories: 1 - 30 of 7619     
News stories: 1 - 30 of 7619     
company profile
Company profile: Blu Spas, Inc.
Blu is a full-service firm offering consulting, advisory and operating solutions.
BluGalaxy a Division of Blu Spas
Blu Spas
This animation showcases the beautiful concept design of BluGalaxy Spa.
Try cladmag for free!
Sign up with CLAD to receive our regular ezine, instant news alerts, free digital subscriptions to CLADweek, CLADmag and CLADbook and to request a free sample of the next issue of CLADmag.
sign up
Hotel de la Ville has 104 rooms and suites, inspired by Rome’s role in the era of the Grand Tour
Olga Polizzi is director of design for Rocco Forte Hotels and also owns two of her own hotels
"On Via Sistina, everything breathes history. At the same time I wanted to reflect the modern hunger for the fantastical - Tommaso Ziffer"

Following the highly anticipated launch of Rome’s Hotel de la Ville, Rocco Forte’s director of design reflects on a fascinating project

The three new studios have brought drama to previously tired areas of the Les Mills gym
"We’ve designed the space so that the atmosphere is intimate"

Les Mills’ new studio spaces at its iconic Auckland City Gym showcase a trend away from masculine ‘grunty’ gyms to something altogether different

Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
To advertise in our catalogue gallery: call +44(0)1462 431385
Collaboration is at the heart of NBW’s working practices
Thomas Woltz
"I am very proud of stewarding the largest public space to be built in Manhattan in a century"

The Wall Street Journal’s Design Innovator of the Year on designing the gardens at Hudson Yards and looking to the Native Americans for ideas on how to create a resilient future

Marianne Shillingford
"The technology involved in paint is extraordinary"

Used cleverly, colour has the power to influence how people use the spaces they inhabit, says the creative director of Dulux

Last word: Tina Norden
Tina Norden
"We have created an approach which is playful, provocative but also functional"

Conran and Partners’ Tina Norden on playing with colour at Prague’s newly redesigned Hotel Maximilian

Martin Jochman founded JADE+QA in 2013. He formerly worked for Atkins
"We didn’t want to put in any gimmicks. We wanted to create a building that’s inherently sustainable through passive sustainability"

When Martin Jochman set out to transform an old quarry into a luxury hotel, he faced some serious challenges

The Center for Sustainable Landscapes in Pittsburgh, US
José Almiñana
"We are committed to designing evocative landscapes informed by the best environmental science"

The Andropogon principal on pushing the boundaries of landscape design for the benefit of humans and nature

Norman Foster and his team were responsible for the architecture and interior design
Dana Kalczak
"If we had focused entirely on high tech in the hotel, the artistry we normally strive for would have been compromised"

Four Seasons’ vice president of design speaks to CLAD about working with Norman Foster and creating magical moments

cladkit product news
Diamond balloon concept merges tourist attraction with advertising billboard
Magali Robathan
A group of Dutch engineers have presented a new attractions concept that combines a flying observation cabin with LED digital ...
Siminetti unveils first glimpses of Mother of Pearl decorative surfaces inspired by the four seasons
The new winter design is finished with naturally occurring hexagonal patterns found in snowflakes
Megan Whitby
Siminetti has collaborated with British designer Chrisanna London to create a luxury Mother of Pearl decorative surface range inspired by ...
Atelier Alain Ellouz launches handcrafted precious stone lighting collection
LYRA has a sleek, cylindrical design complete with an elegant brass dimming switch
Megan Whitby
LYRA, GAMA, MONA and ATHENA are the first pieces from designer Atelier Alain Ellouz’s new.édition collection of handcrafted stone lighting ...
cladkit product news
LianTronics’ glasses-free 3D Star Trek LED screen attracts attention
Magali Robathan
LianTronics’ giant curved LED wall with stunning glasses-less 3D spaceship display effect has attracted many on the street of Chengdu, ...
Fabio Alemanno Design uses elegant semi-precious stones to create memorable spa experiences
Alemanno believes the stones are well-placed in the spa environment thanks to their capacity to positively support physical and mental health
Megan Whitby
Fabio Alemanno Design has expanded its collection with semi-precious stones to enhance spas, wellness facilities, hotels and private residences. The ...
Móz Designs columns anchor the world’s largest indoor aquarium
The design of the columns was inspired by the sea
Magali Robathan
After a two-year renovation, Oakland-based metal experts Móz Designs have unveiled their inclusion in Georgia Aquarium’s new shark gallery. Located ...
cladkit product news
Christie laser projectors power new Five Senses Bubble dome theatre
The dome aims to integrate technology with arts and culture
Magali Robathan
Christie® GS Series 1DLP® laser projectors are delivering vivid and lifelike visuals in a new dome theatre located in Xiong’an ...
ASPA International launches handheld UV-C light disinfection lamp
The compact plug-in product can be used easily in a commercial spa or domestic setting to disinfect surfaces with UV-C light
Megan Whitby
For over 30 years, ASPA International has designed and built high-quality spas for the hotel, health and wellness sectors. During ...
Cosm unveils Experience Centre with ‘one of a kind’ LED dome
The new Experience Centre houses a 20m LED dome
Magali Robathan
Cosm, a global technology company that builds end-to-end solutions for immersive experiences, has unveiled its Experience Centre which houses a ...
Sign up with CLAD for regular news updates
Koelnmesse GmbH / FSB
Koelnmesse GmbH / FSB