In addition to traditional theme parks, family entertainment centres are also an important part of Dubai’s entertainment and leisure industry – and the trend 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) will play a huge role for FECs in the near future especially in Dubai.
FECs are miniaturised versions of theme parks and a collection of more than one attraction, including rides, soft-play equipment such as plastic tube mazes, 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.
“The FEC market in the MENA region is calm at the moment as compared to before,” commented Yuhanis Nawasreh, sales and development manager of Warehouse of Games. “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.”
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.