Dubai theme park operator DXBE’s first quarter 2021 revenues drop to Dh55.45m

190628 Legoland Dubai
The theme parks business has been overwhelmed by the pandemic. DXB Entertainments will be looking to the Meraas buyout for the long haul to recovery. Image Credit: Bloomberg

Dubai: Dubai’s biggest theme park operator was able to bring down losses for the first three months to Dh359.8 million against Dh564.63 million a year ago. But it will be the coming quarters that will give a true comparison, as the COVID-19 related closures become more apparent on the financials.

DXB Entertainments, which is currently at an advanced stage of its takeover by Dubai Holding entity Meraas, had first quarter revenues of Dh55.45 million, and down from the Dh100.24 million same time last year. Once the Meraas acquisition is done, the DXB Entertainments stock will be delisted.

Admission revenue for the first three months were Dh16.36 million, a steep drop from the Dh40 million plus from a year ago.

DXB Entertainments is the owner-operator of Dubai Parks and Resorts, one of the most popular theme park destinations in the region. At the end of the first quarter, the company’s total assets were valued at Dh7.02 billion, down on the Dh7.19 billion from a year ago.

In its statement on the first quarter 2021 results, DXB Entertainments note: “Due to the seasonality of the business and the COVID-19 impact, the results for the period ended 31 March 2021 are not indicative of the results that may be expected for the financial year ending 31 December 2021.”

In the first nine months of 2020, Dubai Parks had 602,000 visitors, with the July-September phase seeing 6,000 visits.

Meraas moves

As part of the takeover, during the first quarter, Meraas assumed DXBE’s bank obligations, which amounted to Dh4.27 billion (as of February 28, 2021). It converted the acquired liabilities into 53.39 billion new shares.

Meraas, which is already the major shareholder in DXBE, decided a full acquisition will serve the theme park operator’s longer term interests, especially given the size of the liabilities. The process is expected to get completed within weeks.