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Dubai: There were 760,000 visitors taking in the thrills at Dubai Parks and Resorts in the first three months, down 11 per cent on the 851,000 from last year. The drop was reflected in the revenues – at Dh142 million it was down 18 per cent on the Dh173 million in Q1-2018.

The net loss for the period came to Dh216 million from Dh210 million for the same period last year.

According to the CEO, the drop in visitor numbers was to be expected in the second year of operations. This is a “typical pattern for a theme park in its second year as the domestic target market consolidates to a core of repeat visitors,” said Mohammad Almulla, CEO and Managing Director. “Our job now is to maximize the revenue potential of our established domestic base whilst growing our international visitor numbers.”

“Building our international visitation, which delivers higher yields, will play an important role in delivering our target of EBITDA breakeven during the second-half of 2020. Our target is to achieve upwards of 60 per cent international visitation, which will be delivered by our hotel strategy, strategic partnerships and the expansion of MotionGate Dubai and Bollywood Parks Dubai, allowing us to target new demographics.”

Gains continue to be made on controlling costs, according to the park’s owner and operator DXB Entertainments. This helped secure a 10 per cent year-on-year in adjusted Ebitda (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) for a loss of Dh19 million from Dh21 million.

Another plus was the rise in occupancy at the Lapita hotel at the park. In the first three months, the average occupancy was 72 per cent against 62 per cent a year ago.

“We have launched a variety of new combination packages, available for travel partners and tour operators for booking anywhere in the world via our B2B online platform,” the official added. “We are providing a broader, multi-day experience across our portfolio of leisure and entertainment assets, including our theme parks and the assets we manage on behalf of Meraas throughout Dubai.”