Matthew Priddy, VP of themed entertainment project management at Cumming Corporation, details what project owners, developers, and consultants can do to succeed in the themed entertainment sector

The themed entertainment sector in the Middle East is showing great potential for expansion, according to Matthew Priddy of Cumming Corporation.

Speaking to Construction Week, the construction project management and cost consulting firm's newly appointed vice president of themed entertainment project management said that more "Western-style" projects, such as theme parks, are being introduced into the region.

"This is evident by what you see going on in Abu Dhabi, on Yas Island, as well as what's going on here in Dubai," Priddy explained, adding that countries like Saudi Arabia and Jordan have also expressed interest in themed destinations. 

The former senior vice-president of worldwide production for Walt Disney Imagineering noted that to succeed in the themed entertainment sector, developers and consultants need to focus on providing a "compelling" experience.

"Scale is not necessarily relevant," he said. "You want to produce something that is compelling enough to [attract] your particular demographic.

"It has to be so compelling that [people would want to go] back. Repeat visitation is very important, because at the end of the day, [it's] a business."

In the video below, Priddy explains the importance of peripheral elements, such as dining, hospitality, and retail facilities, to the success of themed destinations.


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