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Dubai; Dynamism, DEALs and Destinations

Our recent trip to Dubai unleashed a whole host of experiences. Our visits to the Middle East are always intriguing – things move so fast in the region. So, here’s the lowdown on what caught our attention last week at the Dubai Entertainment Amusement & Leisure Exhibition (or DEAL for short).

Bringing the Outside In

We arrived to a sandy Dubai skyline then had a day of torrential rain (which is unheard of according to our taxi driver). In a country with heat and sandstorms it’s no wonder indoor destinations are the key trend. So, here’s a thought, how we can bring more of the outside inside for regions like the Middle East? How can we create space for nature, for peace, for plantlife? At The Dubai Mall the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo had a really healthy queue line. Interestingly they give away some of the experience for free with their huge aquarium walls – but it only adds to the intrigue and ticket sales. It also helps create footfall to the mall as an experiential destination.

Desire for the new…

It was clear from the exhibition floor at DEAL that VR and AR still reign supreme. The entertainment industry is still looking for the newest and best tech to drive visitor engagement. We loved the interactive drawing and games from Sindrax that connects tech with human creativity. Dronisos were also exhibiting their drone shows which give a real sense of wonder and spectacle to live events.


…Traditional thrills.

Despite the drive for new technology the big players in thrills were still at the show, exhibitors included Mack Rides, Vekoma, Polin and White Water. Later in the week we had the pleasure to ride Mack Ride’s Velociraptor at IMG World’s of Adventure – flawless fun!

Scale Vs Personalisation

Dubai is BIG. Everything is the biggest, the tallest, the grandest. But conversely, there also seems to be a desire for personalisation. How can the industry create VIP streams, personalised content and co-created experience? This is a trend we believe is a BIG one to watch.

Power Brands & IPs

Brands and IPs are still the main players. The very best of the worlds’ brands converge on Dubai, from B2B to retail and leisure. It’s a brand paradise. IPs carry the same weight, with IMG World’s of Adventure featuring Cartoon Network and Marvel zones and Motiongate featuring Kung Fu Panda, Hotel Transylvania and The Green Hornet among others. Our friends over at Rainbow Productions were pleased to be back at DEAL, creating amazing mascots for the region.

Question is which IP is going to be the next big thing? And will it be home grown?

We’re excited to see what comes next and be part of creating that vision with our clients and partners across the Middle East!

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