Disney eyeing parks in Middle East/India? - Khaleej Times - 3/24/06
Chairman rules out Disney park in Mideast
BY LUCIA DORE (Senior Correspondent)
24 March 2006
Full story at http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayA...n=theworld&col=
DUBAI — Disney will not be establishing a park in Dubai or, in fact, anywhere in the Middle East anytime soon, said James Rasulo, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts speaking to Khaleej Times, during the IAA Congress.
"When deciding on a location, we have to look at the size of economy and the distribution of income. We are a premium tourism product and we need certain characteristics. I don't see the Middle East today as a market that is quite ready for that, but I never say never," he said.
However, India fulfils some of those requirements. He said: "There is a still a fundamental evolution of infrastructure that has to occur so that people can get to a single destination with the footprint that we would like to develop. Today that footprint is not in place." But that will not be the case forever, he added. "If you look at the population and economic realities of India, it is possible one day, but that day is not now."
China is a slightly different matter. Although Hong Kong recently opened a Disney Resort, he sees the establishment of a second resort in China as a real possibility. "Someday I imagine that due to the sheer geography of China, a growing economy and population there may be a second destination in China," he said. But not in coming years. "We look with great anticipation to be able to deliver our very special formula and entertainment to all of the markets that can support it," he said.