Dubai theme park operator DXB Entertainments narrows losses

The entrance to LegoLand at Dubai Parks & Resorts. (Supplied)
Updated 06 November 2018
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Dubai theme park operator DXB Entertainments narrows losses

  • Park attracts 501,394 visits in the third quarter
  • Still faces headwinds of tough tourism market

LONDON: Dubai theme park operator DXB Entertainments (DXBE) has posted a loss of 81 million dirhams ($22 million) for the third quarter as the company continues to battles headwinds in the tourism sector since the opening of its flagship theme park in late 2016.
The loss was an improvement on the 105 million dirhams earnings before interest, taxes and amortization (EBITDA) loss the company reported in the third quarter of 2017, according to the filing on the Dubai stock exchange.
The company’s main asset — Dubai Parks and Resorts — which features attractions inspired by “The Hunger Games” film as well as Bollywood Parks and Legoland, opened the first phase of the park in 2016.
Visitor numbers have grown since then reaching 501,394 in the third quarter, a 5 percent increase on the same quarter last year. Year-to-date more than 1.9 million people have visited the park, an increase of 33 percent on the previous year.
Revenue however has slipped in the third quarter, reaching 103 million dirhams compared to 115 million dirhams in the same time period in 2017.
The third quarter is typically considered a slower period of growth due to the heat of the summer season putting off visitors.
DXBE is aiming to increase the number of international visitors to its parks, launching a number of joint advertising campaigns with Dubai’s flagship airline Emirates and Dubai Airports in the last quarter, according to its statement.
Mohamed Almulla, CEO and managing director, DXBE, said in a statement that the company would also be revising its pricing structure to increase admissions revenue.
“Increasing in-park spend is an additional revenue driver which we are focused on through a review of merchandise and F&B options offered in the parks,” he said.
He said that the business would continue “to focus on reaching EBITDA breakeven and we have achieved 51 percent improvement during the first nine months of 2018."


Tunisia to almost double gas production this year

Updated 18 January 2019
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Tunisia to almost double gas production this year

  • The project will be jointly owned by Austria’s OMV and Tunisian National Oil Company ETAP
  • It will include investments of about $700 million

TUNIS: Tunisia will almost double production of natural gas to about 65,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day this year, the industry and energy minister, Slim Feriani, told Reuters on Friday.
The country’s gas output will jump from 35,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boed) when the southern Nawara gas field comes onstream in June, Feriani said.
“We will raise our production by about 30,000 barrels of oil equivalent when the Nawara project in the south will start,” Feriani told Reuters in interview.
This project will be jointly owned by Austria’s OMV and Tunisian National Oil Company ETAP with investments of about $700 million.
Feriani also said Tunisia was seeking to attract about $2 billion in foreign investment to produce 1,900 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy in three years. “We will start launching international bids for the production of renewable wind and sun energy. We aim to produce 1,900 MW by investment of up to $2 billion until 2022,” he said.
This would represent about 22 percent of the country’s electricity production.
PHOSPHATE
Tunisia also plans to raise production of phosphate from 3 million tons to 5 million in 2019, he said.
Raising the output will boost economic growth and provide revenue to revive its faltering economy, the minister said.
Phosphate exports are a key source of foreign currency reserves, which have dropped to levels worth just 82 days of imports, according to Tunisia’s central bank.
Tunisia produced about 8.2 million tons of phosphate in 2010 but output dropped after its 2011 revolution. Annual output has not exceeded 4.5 million tons since 2011.
Feriani said lower production has caused Tunisia to lose markets and about $1 billion each year.
Phosphate exports were hit by repeated protests in the main producing region of Gafsa, where unemployed youth demanding jobs blockaded rail transport.