Saudi focus in keynote speech
Next week is a big one for the Middle East, with the MENALAC Conference beginning on Sunday at the Novotel, World Trade Centre, Dubai and the DEAL show opening the following day in the same exhibition halls.
The highlight of the conference will be the keynote address by Bill Ernest (pictured), CEO of Saudi Entertainment Ventures (SEVEN), dedicated to maximizing its investments in the entertainment sector’s infrastructure in KSA.
Ernest, with a wealth of experience in the attractions industry, including 25 years as a senior executive with the Walt Disney Company as vice president of operations.
Said Prakash Vivekanand, on behalf of the Middle East and North Africa Leisure and Attractions Council: “We are delighted to host the top industry leaders at the conference and gain from their wealth of industry experience. We are also delighted to have Bill amidst us and I am sure the industry will be waiting to listen to his viewpoints with regard to the future potential of our industry within the MENA landscape. Our conference is an ideal platform to meet, learn and interact with leisure industry experts and gain valuable insights on the best processes being adopted by the industry leaders. It goes beyond doubt that it is definitely a conference by the industry for the industry.”   Read more
Othaim opens new Fabyland
Saudi-based operator Al Othaim Leisure has opened its latest Fabyland family entertainment centre.
It is located in the Dragon Mart 2 shopping mall in Dubai. The location has the typical Fabyland mix of rides and games, trampolines and a three-level soft play structure.
Dragon Mart 2 is a sister mall of Dragon Mart, the world’s largest Chinese trading hub outside of mainland China and contains shopping, dining and entertainment. It has more than 1,000 shops and kiosks in 1.4 million sq.ft of retail space. Read more
Saudi entertainment industry to benefit from DEAL
One of the biggest announcements for the entertainment industry was the changes in laws and policy in Saudi Arabia. DEAL 2019 provides a unique opportunity for the entertainment industry with exhibitors from around the globe participating in the event, the best and latest products, rides and technology is on display during the show. Furthermore, drones and robots have also entered the fray and currently are in very high demand across FECs and indoor themeparks. Several such innovative technologies and concepts will be showcased at the upcoming show. Mall owners, real estate developers and other stakeholders in Saudi, planning to launch or grow their unique projects embedded with a gaming / entertainment zone cannot afford to miss the show. DEAL 2019 will provide the right platform to create a win-win-win situation for the exhibitors, visitors and the end consumers who will experience these amazing concepts. 
Novo Cinemas launches at IMG Worlds of Adventure
Novo Cinemas has launched its largest IMAX with laser cinema at the IMG Worlds of Adventure in Dubai. The complex comprises a 12-screen multiplex with more than 5,000 meters of LED strip lighting in customized colors and mirror lighting from floor to ceiling.
Speaking about the launch, Debbie Stanford-Kristiansen, CEO of Novo Cinemas said: “Our inspiration for this unique new location was to transport our guests to a new reality or another world, while delivering that ‘WOW factor’. We truly believe that this amazing cinema will do just that – with the biggest IMAX® with laser screen in Dubai, we are confident of delivering a jaw-dropping cinema experience like never before. Read more
Middle East’s first Holoverse Hologram Arcade opens in Oman

Holoverse is the name of a new gaming centre in Oman that aims to offer a fresh take on virtual reality entertainment.
Billed as the Middle East’s first hologram arcade, the facility opened earlier this month at the Oman Avenues Mall in Muscat. Realized by Euclideon Entertainment in partnership with mall operator the Al Tamman Group, it follows the original Holoverse site from Euclideon in Queensland, Australia. The new arcade in Oman features six 2-player Euclideon Hologram Arcade Tables. Each comes with a catalog of locally developed games. With engaging gameplay, they are expected to foster friendly competition and encourage repeat play. Read More
Sukhwinder Singh in Dubai for Holi.

Celebrate the Indian festival of colors, Holi, with Bollywood singer Sukhwinder Singh as he performs at the IMG Worlds of Adventure in Dubai on March 22.
The award-winning singer, known for his energetic live acts, is expected to belt out hits including ‘Chaiyya Chaiyya’ (‘Dil Se’), ‘Jai Ho’ (‘Slumdog Millionaire’), ‘Ishaqbaazi’ (‘Zero’) and ‘Zinda’ (‘Tiger Zinda Hai’). He will be accompanied by fusion band Kavya, along with musicians performing on dhol (drums) and bhangra. Read More