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News Reporter

DUBAI — More than 300 exhibitors are expected to showcase in DEAL 2020, as stakeholders within the African entertainment and amusement sector partake in arguably the largest show in the amusement history, in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates later next month.

The Dubai Entertainment and Leisure show, which is set to pool together Afrocentric exhibitors from more than 35 countries, is slated for March 23-25, with a packed spectrum of VR concepts that is specifically catering to the African markets. Interested trade visitors planning to visit the show can register on the website and get in touch with the show organisers for special air tickets and accommodation rates.

There are several global and regional brands at the show that includes – Amusement Services International, Warehouse of Games, Al Hokair, Semnox, Intercard, Zamperla, Embed, Sacoa, ICE, UDC, Polin Waterparks, ProSlide, Whitewater, HPS Play, SBF-VISA, Guzzi Eugenio, IE Park, I-TPS, Mammamia Rides and QubicaAMF Worldwide among several others.  Furthermore, the African trade visitors can also meet close to 50 plus new exhibitors.

“Apart from the other country pavilions, this year DEAL will host companies under the ‘Korea pavilion’ for the very first time. Korea Creative Content Authority (KOCCA), a government agency which promotes the Korean content industry will be instrumental in bringing some of the best Korean FEC and entertainment companies. Trade visitors from Africa can expect a plethora of creative VR concepts from the Korean brands at its country pavilion during the DEAL 2020 show,” stated Sharif Rahman, CEO of International Expo Consults (IEC), organizers of DEAL 2020.

Africa will witness the launch of new retail entertainment hubs and malls in the next couple of years where more global brands will find more space and better infrastructure. It adds that the continent is home to 45 million households having what it terms as ‘discretionary income’. With the new malls attracting brands that were only known through cable television, Forbes Magazine says the African market can no longer be viewed as a secondary one.

DEAL 2020 is the region’s most important meeting point since its inception for manufacturers, suppliers, buyers, entrepreneurs, businessmen, technologists, and professionals in the leisure, FEC and amusement industries.  Apart from the VR gaming concepts there is a massive representation from other sectors such as arcade, redemption, card machines, rides, water fountains, soft toys, coin machines, gifts, souvenirs, bowling, character costumes, theming services, interactive sports, revenue management systems,  inflatables, laser tag, photobooth, snow park, water park, trains, vending machines, trampolines among other entertainment concepts.

Africa’s VR (virtual reality) gaming space is taking shape with several malls in the country looking to house the best in the VR gaming industry. The VR concept is increasing the business value of the malls with the help of this new disruptive technology. Virtual reality gaming refers to applications where a person can experience being in a three-dimensional (3-D) environment and interact with it during a game. Virtual reality (VR) environments help the user in experiencing the game as reality.

“So, as an African entertainment industry stakeholder, trade visitors can attend dedicated conferences to gain knowledge and industry’s wealth of experience and get a hands-on technology experience at its innovative best. They can implement the same back in the country post networking with industry leaders, and also develop a profitable business relationship at the same time,” added Rahman.

Middle East and North Africa Leisure & Attractions Council (MENALAC), a non-profit Trade Council representing the leisure and attractions will be addressing the industry’s growth parameters, as it will be hosting a power-packed conference that will feature experts from the industry. These industry experts will share their best practices from across the globe with the trade visitors from Africa.

DEAL has been steadily gaining popularity on all fronts as the African amusement sector stands to benefit immensely from this show. The future looks promising for the African amusement sector which has reported a steady growth on the revenue forefront. Africa has been growing in terms of tourism and infrastructure. We have full faith that we are going in the right path and are confident that the amusement industry in Africa will yield 100 percent results. We are quite pleased to see new faces from Africa at DEAL each year and are sure that they will get to meet new contacts to expand their business even this year,” said Rahman.

African millennials are changing their consumer spending patterns, from markets to malls, where they can eat, socialize and get entertained at Family Entertainment Centers (FEC)s apart from shopping. Also there have been key amusement parks in Egypt, Nigeria, Tunisia and South Africa which have enticed people around the African region.

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