MENALAC spotlights Abu Dhabi as a global destination for leisure, entertainment, business

November 15, 2022

Focus on Abu Dhabi scheduled on December 7 & 8, 2022 to highlight the crucial role of leisure and entertainment in the UAE capital’s economic diversification

Dubai, UAE, November 17, 2022

News Highlights

  1. In 2022, Middle East’s travel and tourism sector’s GDP growth is expected to more than double to 36.1%. Meanwhile, the sector is already bouncing back with a 48.8% increase in revenues from international visitors: Travel and Tourism Economic Impact 2022 Report
  2. The UAE aims to host 25 million tourists by 2025: Alpen Capital
  3. The UAE is one of the fastest growing theme park destinations in the region. Small wonder that leisure and entertainment accounts for a large chunk of tourist spending.

If these numbers are anything to go by, leisure tourism is poised for a mega comeback in the region, particularly in the UAE. Currently home to the highest number of theme parks, family entertainment centres and cineplexes in the Middle East, the UAE accounts for the largest share
of the regional leisure tourism market. A country which was also the first globally to open its leisure and entertainment sector post-pandemic.

The UAE has always been in the spotlight for leisure superlatives with different Emirates of the UAE are doing a lot to ramp up their leisure offerings and Abu Dhabi is emerging on the global map as an attractive leisure and entertainment destination.

Aligned with this strategy massive investments are being made to further enhance the leisure and entertainment offerings in Abu Dhabi. For instance, Abu Dhabi based leisure operator MIRAL with Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, Warner Brothers Theme Parks and SeaWorld Abu Dhabi, among
others in its portfolio have ongoing projects worth AED13 billion.

While unique leisure, dining and entertainment destination Al Qana with attractions including The National Aquarium, The Bridge Lifestyle Hub, Al Qana Marina, Pixoul Gaming is set to draw millions of visitors too.

In 2021, Abu Dhabi launched the Tourism Strategy 2030 to attract 23 million tourists to the capital annually by 2030. Against this backdrop the Middle East and North Africa Leisure and Attractions Council (MENALAC), a not-for-profit trade council representing the MENA region’s
leisure and attractions industry, is all set to host ‘FOCUS ON ABU DHABI 2022: Investment, Innovation and the Future of Fun’ on December 7-8, 2022. The event follows two of MENALAC’s previously successful editions Focus on KSA and Kuwait.

The two-day event is expected to attract 100 delegates including C-Level Executives, founders, investors and decision makers of leading leisure & entertainment companies from key markets, including Europe, the US and Asia. Focus on Abu Dhabi will feature a conference headlined by
industry-leading speakers from Abu Dhabi’s leisure and entertainment space. Thought leaders and globally renowned experts will share their insights with industry professionals from around the world. Few eminent names of speaker line-up includes Mohammad Al Zaabi, CEO MIRAL,
Sadiya Salem Al Menhali, Section Head, Policies and Systems, Public Health System Department, Julien Kauffmann, CEO, Farah Experiences, Paul Hamilton, General Manager, National Aquarium and Pixoul Gaming among other visionary leaders.

Speaking about the upcoming must-attend event, Mishal Al Hokair, Deputy CEO at Al Hokair Group and President of MENALAC says, “It is one of MENALAC’s primary goals to create an engaging space where all stakeholders can discuss developments within the industry as well as learn from each other’s success. Our Focus on Abu Dhabi 2022 event is the place where we can all come together and celebrate regional triumphs in
our industry as well as learn from the best of best, and plan for exceptional growth in the coming years as the entire region becomes an increasingly attractive tourist destination. We look forward to welcoming attendees to a fascinating, fun-filled, and informative two days in the capital of the UAE.”

The event will also shine the light on Abu Dhabi’s many award-winning destinations through behind-the-scenes tours of destinations including Warner Bros. Abu Dhabi, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, Clymb Abu Dhabi, Qasr Al Watan/Warner Bros Hotel, National Aquarium, Cinemacity and
Pixoul Gaming.

In addition, it will offer industry professionals to connect and network with each other. Attendees will also get to dine at CENTRAL the UAE’s newest gastro-gaming ‘food-meets-fun’ concept and learn about this innovative idea from the industry trailblazers. Overall, attendees will get to experience how a 25 sq km of desert has metamorphosed into a world-class integrated leisure, hospitality, and retail destination.

We often tend to look outside for inspiration, but when it comes to the leisure and attractions industry, the regional industry need not look any further. Our region boasts of the best of the best in theme parks, waterparks, and myriad attractions and unique concepts that are now creating and setting global benchmarks. We must enshrine their accomplishments and emulate their ambition and commitment to success. Our Focus on Abu Dhabi 2022 event is a step in that direction, and we are optimistic about a huge turnout. We are grateful to our sponsors with whose invaluable support MENALAC can create these important industry events” concludes Mike Rigby, Executive Vice President, Middle East & India, Whitewater, and Chairperson of the MENALAC Events Committee.

This event has attracted leading names as sponsors, including Farah Experiences, Al Qana, Vivaticket, Intamin, IBCCES and Solutions Leisure.