Dubai-based leisure parks operator, DXB Entertainments registered a 46 per cent year-on-year increase in visitor numbers to Dubai Parks and Resorts in the first half of this year, as the company continues to work on narrowing losses reported last year.
“Our results demonstrate that Dubai Parks and Resorts is on a clear growth trajectory,” Mohamed Almulla, chief executive and managing director of DXB Entertainments, said in a statement on Sunday to the Dubai bourse, where its shares are traded. “We remain confident in our growth potential as we progress through our first full year of operations.”
Dubai Parks and Resorts, the Arabian Gulf’s largest integrated leisure and theme park destination and operator of Legoland Dubai, attracted more than 1.4 million visits first six months of 2018, DXB Entertainments, in which Dubai-based developer Meraas holds a 52.3 per cent stake, said in the statement.
The park achieved 612,000 visits in the second quarter of the year, a drop from 851,000 reported in the first quarter of the year.
“Theme parks are seasonal in nature and whilst Dubai Parks and Resorts has delivered year-on-year growth, the warmer second and third quarters of the year, typically, deliver lower visitation than the cooler months of the first and fourth quarter,” Mr Almulla said.
The chief executive issued a similar prediction over a quarterly visitor drop when announcing the first-quarter results in April.
Year-on-year, however, the second-quarter visitors' number is 48 per cent higher from 414,000 reported at the end of the same period in 2017, when the park had only recently opened.
April was the peak month of the six-month period, with Dubai Parks and Resorts attracting 300,000 visits driven by international tourists during the school holiday season, the operator said. The second annual ‘Big Day Out’ promotion on April 20 set new records for single day visitation with more than 36,000 visits, it added.
Average occupancy at The Lapita Hotel, which is part of the theme park complex, rose to 55 per cent in the first half of the year, a significant improvement from 24 per cent reported during the same period last year, the company said.
During the second quarter, Dubai Parks and Resorts and Dubai Airports signed an exclusive agreement to feature the theme park destination at all Dubai Airport terminals. Under the agreement, Dubai Parks and Resorts will be promoted to the over 88 million passengers travelling through Dubai Airport annually.
Dubai Parks and Resorts also announced a partnership with Emirates, the largest airline in the Middle East, to offer Emirates passengers special bundled ticket offers for the park and its attractions.
DXB Entertainments, which opened its attractions in phases from 2016, posted a wider-than-forecast loss of Dh1.11 billion for 2017, compared with a loss of Dh485m a year-earlier. The company began cutting costs last year as losses widened, and reorganised its business along three lines encompassing theme parks, family entertainment centres, and retail and hospitality segment.
It completed the restructuring during the third quarter of last year, reducing staff numbers and cutting marketing spend.
The operator said in March it had no plans to cut costs further even as the company secured a Dh1.2bn debt facility from its major shareholder and restructured its Dh4.2bn debt.