FECs now essential for Middle East malls says DEAL boss

Family Entertainment Centres are now a must-have feature for shopping malls in the Middle East, according to the CEO of International Expo Consults, organiser of the DEAL (Dubai Entertainment Amusement and Leisure) 2017 show.

The show is expected to bring 70 per cent of its visitors from abroad which is expected to boost visits to theme parks and retail malls encouraging the growth of FECs in UAE.

“Leisure is a versatile term and an important facet of malls as it draws the families with the kids together. Some years back it was possible for a retail mall to have its operations without an entertainment centre but not now any longer. Family Entertainment Centres (FEC) are a must have feature for every mega mall in this region. Indoor theme parks are here to stay as you are more likely to go to the mall every week than an outdoor park due to climatic conditions. This is one key component that will help grow indoor theme parks and FECs to grow at a remarkable rate in the near future,” said Sharif Rahman, CEO, IEC.

“Industry experts are of the view that shopping malls in the UAE are more focusing on enhancing their entertainment facilities as more and more visitors are increasingly stopping over retail malls for entertainment rather than shopping. Malls are striving to bring in new leisure attractions but they should also understand that they should enhance their existing entertainment offerings rather than getting something new. Many consumers would come to a mall for varied reasons including family entertainment and sightseeing. Retailers on the other hand are leaving no stone unturned to turn shopping into an entertainment experience and thereby increasing sales.” added Rahman.

“2017 seems to be promising for the retail and entertainment industry as operations in the leisure and amusement sector have registered an exponential growth in revenue in the current year. FECs are the main pillars that would be supporting the retail operations and developments within the Middle East and is pegged to grow at a fast pace in 2017 and beyond. Malls with FECs have registered a considerable hike in earnings in the last few months which is mainly due to the influx of tourists from other regions. FECs form the crux of the retail industry on a wider scale, as without the fusion of FECs within retail malls, the whole retail vertical would have been just another brick and mortar retail sector.”

The show will be held from 27th – 29th March 2017 at the Dubai World Trade Centre.

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