Theme park complex Dubai Parks and Resorts recorded close to 2.8 million visits in 2018, an increase of 22 per cent compared to the previous year, operator DXB Entertainments announced on Monday.
In Q4 2018, Dubai Parks recorded over 819,000 visits, compared to 796,000 in the same period last year.
“The last quarter of the year benefitted from winter seasonality, with Halloween, the UAE’s 47th anniversary, and the winter school break and holidays boosting visitor numbers,” a statement said.
Meanwhile average occupancy at the Lapita Hotel stood at 63 per cent in Q4, also reaching close to 100 per cent during certain days in December.
Throughout 2018, average occupancy at the hotel rose to 60 per cent in 2018, compared to 35 per cent in 2017.
“Growth in 2018 was driven by the successful integration of the annual pass programme, increased occupancy and therefore visitation from the Lapita Hotel and increased footfall from international tourists,” the statement said.
Mohamed Almulla, CEO and managing director, DXB Entertainments, said: “We saw a 22 per cent increase in visits with 40 per cent of overall footfall from international tourists, demonstrating that our strategic partnerships with Emirates Airlines, RTA and Dubai Airport, as well as China’s Union Pay, are showing good results.
“Looking ahead to 2019, our priority is to continue increasing footfall from international tourists, which is a key growth driver for the destination, while also maintaining the solid base of local and regional visitors.”
Dubai Parks, which comprises Bollywood, Hollywood and Legoland theme parks, targeted 6.7 million visitors in 2017, but only drew in 2.3 million.
With an estimated development cost of Dhs13.2bn for Dubai Parks, DXB Entertainment – listed on DFM – posted a full year loss of Dhs1.12bn in 2017.
In late March last year, the firm reached a deal with creditors to restructure $1.14bn of debt.
In November, the company also revealed that it was undertaking a board-mandated review that could see plans for a Dhs2.6bn Six Flags theme park delayed.
The company said its strategic review would “determine scope, timeline and potential alternatives” for the Six Flags expansion in “light of existing customer demand”.
The planned Six Flags theme park was expected to feature the world’s biggest rollercoaster among its 27 rides and attractions.
Construction began in July 2016, with expectations of a 2019 opening.