FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT CENTRES ARE IN DEMAND
With malls across the GCC and UAE evolving to provide a range of immersive offerings for the whole family, kids' entertainment and soft play area manufacturers are predicting continuous growth in the near future.
Family Entertainment Centres (FECs) have become so immensely popular that their presence in shopping malls and retail centres is considered a mandatory feature, experts at International Expo Consults (IEC) noted.
"Family entertainment is a big industry in Dubai since it provides a big pull for the many tourists that visit here. Tourism and entertainment dollars are set to replace the dependency on oil as we can see with the reforms taking place in the region. Weather is another factor that helps in the migration of footfall into the malls. Therefore during the summer break, many of the edutainment venues hold summer camps indoors that are looking after the kids while their parents are away at work," said Sharif Rahman, CEO of IEC.
"It's not just the edutainment centres that are benefitting from the heat. Many shopping malls have soft play areas that are designed to keep the children happy while the parents enjoyed a bit of retail therapy. Now you see people bring their children specifically to the mall so that they can spend a few hours playing since it's too hot to play outside, at least for the very little ones," added Rahman.
The edutainment space has witnessed considerable growth over the years. In fact, there are several players in the market, both big and small, and many new entrants are arriving each year. Dubai in particular has a lot of edutainment options that have been operational for a few years now, including Kidzania, The Playmania, OliOli, Cheeky Monkeys, among others. Emaar Entertainment recently launched their latest entry into the edutainment market with Dig It, a play space constructed around a realistic construction site which teaches children how to work together, building, creating and digging.
"While one end of the spectrum of the entertainment industry includes immersive experiences utilising the latest virtual reality technology, the other end is low tech but just as essential soft play area market. They are an integral part of most edutainment zones and can be found in almost all malls and FECs in the region. With the increased adoption of such areas in the Middle East, their demand has been rising," added Rahman.
Source - htps://www.khaleejtimes.com/business/retail/family-entertainment-centres-are-in-demand