12 things to expect from the Dubai Entertainment Amusement and Leisure Show
Some of the industry's top experts are going to be providing insights into the theme parks and amusement industry sector. Take a look at these 12 things to expect from the DEAL Conference this year.
1. The Dubai Entertainment Amusement and Leisure Show (DEAL) will be held on the 27th, 28th and 29th of March, 2017 in Halls 1, 2, 3 and 4 of the Dubai World Trade Centre.
2. Last year’s DEAL show saw over 7,000 visitors in attendance with more than 250 exhibitors.
3. The exhibition has been the region's most anticipated and leading attraction for global and local stakeholders in the amusement and entertainment industries since 1995.
4. It is the largest amusement and entertainment exhibition in the Middle East and Africa.
5. The DEAL conference is working together with Blooloop (an online resource company for professionals working in the visitor attractions sector) in order to bring together leading executives and key thinkers for a high quality educational day that will focus on key trends and developments in the attractions business from all over the region.
Sharif Rahman, CEO of International Expo Consults (the organizer of DEAL show) said: “We decided to associate with Blooloop to add further value to the stakeholders of the theme park and amusement industry while they visit our show. We have been supporting the industry for over two decades and we now wanted to provide the trade visitors more insights into the industry through this conference. It is important to share knowledge and expertise within the same platform to address the needs of the industry and grow this sector further. We are currently living in interesting times where there are several new family entertainment zones and also theme parks being developed not only in Dubai but also the greater Middle East and Africa region. Therefore, it is important for us to also address the challenges faced by the industry and also arrive at the right solutions to solve them. This conference will enable us to do that and we are delighted to take this cause ahead with industry experts such as Blooloop.”
6. The UAE is set to be at the forefront of theme park revenue growth as it’s set to increase by 78 percent to over $837 million U.S. dollars by 2019. Internationally recognized events (such as the Dubai Expo 2020 and the FIFA World Cup in Qatar in 2022) is going to boost the tourism sector in the region. This growth (as well as the rise of theme parks and retail visits) will renew the enthusiasm in the amusement and theme park industry in the UAE. Theme parks in the UAE have the potential to see more than 18 million visitors by 2021. With its central global location, and excellent hospitality facilities, it is expected that the UAE has tremendous potential to lead the race and be ahead of Orlando.
7. Some of the exhibitors at this year’s DEAL Show include Museums, admission systems, amusement rides, computer systems and software, facilities and ground products, food and beverages, games and devices, high-tech equipment and effects, theatrical equipment and supplies and many more.
Charles Read (Managing Director of Blooloop) stated: “We are pleased to be partnering with DEAL. It is undoubtedly the premier exhibition in MEA, with a strong reputation for facilitating networking amongst all stakeholders in the attractions industry. With unparalleled local knowledge, they are our natural partners to create what we believe will be a captivating programme for anyone seeking to enter or expand their business in the region.”
8. DEAL has been shaping the region’s entertainment industry for the past 22 years and it has brought together some of the best innovations all under one roof.
9. Exhibitors are expected to sign over more than 1.6 billion Dirhams worth of contracts at this year’s DEAL Show.
10. Exhibitors at DEAL last year had signed multi-million dollar contracts in just 3 days.
11. Visitors at DEAL come from all over the world. 65 percent of visitors are from the Middle East, 12 percent are from Africa, 10 percent from Europe, seven percent from Asia Pacific and Australia and six percent from America.
12. Going into its 23rd year, DEAL expects to see an even larger gathering of key players and visitors in the amusement industry from the Middle East, Africa, U.S., Mediterranean and Asian countries.
SAS: Improving the British Army’s decision making with data
SAS’ long-standing relationship with the British Army is built on mutual respect and grounded by a reciprocal understanding of each others’ capabilities, strengths, and weaknesses. Roderick Crawford, VP and Country GM for SAS UKI, states that the company’s thorough grasp of the defence sector makes it an ideal partner for the Army as it undergoes its own digital transformation.
“Major General Jon Cole told us that he wanted to enable better, faster decision-making in order to improve operational efficiency,” he explains. Therefore, SAS’ task was to help the British Army realise the “significant potential” of data through the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to automate tasks and conduct complex analysis.
In 2020, the Army invested in the SAS ‘Viya platform’ as an overture to embarking on its new digital roadmap. The goal was to deliver a new way of working that enabled agility, flexibility, faster deployment, and reduced risk and cost: “SAS put a commercial framework in place to free the Army of limits in terms of their access to our tech capabilities.”
Doing so was important not just in terms of facilitating faster innovation but also, in Crawford’s words, to “connect the unconnected.” This means structuring data in a simultaneously secure and accessible manner for all skill levels, from analysts to data engineers and military commanders. The result is that analytics and decision-making that drives innovation and increases collaboration.
Crawford also highlights the importance of the SAS platform’s open nature, “General Cole was very clear that the Army wanted a way to work with other data and analytics tools such as Python. We allow them to do that, but with improved governance and faster delivery capabilities.”
SAS realises that collaboration is at the heart of a strong partnership and has been closely developing a long-term roadmap with the Army. “Although we're separate organisations, we come together to work effectively as one,” says Crawford. “Companies usually find it very easy to partner with SAS because we're a very open, honest, and people-based business by nature.”
With digital technology itself changing with great regularity, it’s safe to imagine that SAS’ own relationship with the Army will become even closer and more diverse. As SAS assists it in enhancing its operational readiness and providing its commanders with a secure view of key data points, Crawford is certain that the company will have a continually valuable role to play.
“As warfare moves into what we might call ‘the grey-zone’, the need to understand, decide, and act on complex information streams and diverse sources has never been more important. AI, computer vision and natural language processing are technologies that we hope to exploit over the next three to five years in conjunction with the Army.”
Fundamentally, data analytics is a tool for gaining valuable insights and expediting the delivery of outcomes. The goal of the two parties’ partnership, concludes Crawford, will be to reach the point where both access to data and decision-making can be performed qualitatively and in real-time.
“SAS is absolutely delighted to have this relationship with the British Army, and across the MOD. It’s a great privilege to be part of the armed forces covenant.”