LONDON: DXB Entertainments (DXBE), which owns one of the largest theme parks in the Middle East, has posted a net loss of 1.12 billion dirhams ($ 303.8 million) in 2017, despite reporting increased visitor numbers and implementing a cost-cutting strategy last year.
The company’s largest asset, Dubai Parks and Resorts, reported revenues of 552 million dirhams in its preliminary results for 2017. Revenue in the fourth quarter reached 157 million dirhams, marking an increase of 37 percent compared with the third quarter, according to a filing on the Dubai Financial Market.
While the company reported lower revenues of 76 million dirhams in 2016, the park only opened late that year and the full-year results reflect just three months of operations. DXBE posted a net loss of 485 million dirhams for that time period.
Total visits to the DXBE theme parks neared 2.3 million in 2017, with the fourth quarter delivering close to 796,000 visits, a 66 percent increase on the third quarter. The rise in visitor numbers had been widely anticipated with the fourth quarter a typically high tourist season in Dubai.
DXBE also revised its pricing strategy last year to drive up visit numbers to the parks and reviewed its marketing efforts to target GCC residents and some key international markets.
The company said its EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) loss for 2017 was 422 million dirhams, but reported a “steady improvement” in earnings in the fourth quarter as a result of rising visitor numbers and reduced operating costs.
The Dubai-based theme parks were first launched in late 2016, with all of the rides and attractions across four parks, including those themed around the movie franchise “The Hunger Games,” fully open to the public on Oct. 20 last year.