IPO Communications in the Middle East

Dubai Parks and Resorts

Strategic Communications

October 12, 2015

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Using our in-depth IPO experience and our understanding of financial markets across the UAE, we helped the Dubai investment company Meraas to successfully fl oat a major leisure and entertainment business on the Dubai Financial Market.

On 25 million square feet of land, Dubai Parks and Resorts is constructing one of the world’s most exciting entertainment and leisure complexes. When complete, the US$2.9 billion project will be the largest multi-themed leisure and entertainment destination in the Middle East with a forecast 6.7 million visits in 2017, and will comprise three separate theme parks and one water park: motiongate™ Dubai, a Hollywood movie inspired theme park concept; LEGOLAND® Dubai, the first LEGOLAND® theme park in the Middle East; LEGOLAND® Water Park; and Bollywood Parks™ Dubai, a first-of-its-kind entertainment destination that will showcase the authentic Bollywood movie experience.

Dubai Parks and Resorts’s parent company, Meraas, decided in 2014 to offer 40% of Dubai Parks and Resorts’ shares on the Dubai Financial Market. It appointed FTI Consulting to provide financial and investor relations consultancy throughout this process. The key objective was to rapidly build awareness of the opportunity and generate demand for the shares.

The main challenges were clear. The project was relatively unknown, and those investors who had heard of it did not fully appreciate its potential. In addition, Dubai Parks and Resorts was going to market at a time when significant local investment capital had already been absorbed by previous listings. Finally, the closing date for the IPO was fast approaching.

Our combination of media skills, IPO experience and familiarity with local and regional financial markets was exactly what was required to meet those challenges and achieve Dubai Parks and Resorts’ goals.

"FTI were an invaluable part of the advisory team for the flotation of Dubai Parks and Resorts, and consistently demonstrated their expertise and dedication in providing high-quality advice and support."

Vinit Shah, Chief Destination Management Officer, Dubai Parks and Resorts

Firstly, we developed a plan to rapidly build a media profile, focusing on three key messages: the strength of Dubai Parks and Resorts’ management team; the unique opportunity presented by the project as the region’s only leisure and entertainment investment opportunity; and the fact that the project was already well advanced, with a clear delivery schedule.

We then worked with Dubai Parks and Resorts’ advertising agency to create a multi-channelled marketing communications strategy targeting international institutional investors and UAE retail investors. We launched a flow of high-profile announcements and media activity to highlight Dubai Parks and Resorts and explain its strategy before the IPO was announced. We ensured that potential investors could easily research the company’s investment proposition online.

Our work extended beyond media into the nature of the company itself. With long experience of successful IPOs all over the world, we were able to guide Dubai Parks and Resorts through the significant cultural changes required when a private business becomes a publicly listed company, accountable to multiple shareholders.

Outcome: Dubai parks and resorts’ offering was significantly over-subscribed – 65 times in the case of the institutional tranche.

As Vinit Shah, Dubai Parks and Resorts’ Chief Destination Management Officer said,“FTI were an invaluable part of the advisory team for the flotation of Dubai Parks and Resorts. We came to market through an accelerated process and listed during a period of market volatility, so we faced multiple challenges. FTI Consulting consistently demonstrated their expertise and dedication in providing highquality advice and support. Their communications strategy played a significant role in Dubai Parks and Resorts successfully securing AED 2.5 billion of investment capital.

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Key Contacts

John Hobday

Senior Managing Director, Head of Strategic Communications, Middle East

Jonathan Earl

Managing Director