Satyan Abraham, ICT Director at DXB Entertainments, discusses his organisation’s digital transformation journey in Dubai...
DXB Entertainments is the owner of Dubai Park and Resorts™, the region’s leading integrated theme park destination, featuring four theme parks, two hotels and one retail and dining facility, spread over 30.6 million square feet of land. Since its opening two years ago, it has evolved into the largest integrated theme park destination in the region and offers unique experiences and fun for all ages and has won several awards in recognition of its achievements.
With over 100 rides across four theme parks, that range from high-adrenaline thrill seeking rides to family friendly activities, Dubai Parks and Resorts is an unmissable destination for any visitor to Dubai.
Satyan Abraham, ICT Director at DXB Entertainments, has been with the organisation since 2016. Born in India, Abraham worked in Mumbai before relocating to the Gulf country. Prior to his role at DXB Entertainments, Abraham spent over a decade at Emirates Airlines in a variety of different roles and also headed his own consultancy firm called Josh Consulting. “I was truly enjoying my consulting career, when I was approached by a senior executive at DXB Entertainments, who said that they were building a world-class leisure and entertainment destination, the first of its kind in the UAE and in the region, and that they wanted to bring someone onboard to oversee their major ICT infrastructure project. From the onset, Dubai Parks and Resorts’ vision was to establish itself as a key component of Dubai’s world class leisure and entertainment experience. “The challenge and excitement associated with working on a project of this magnitude, where I could help contribute to the growth of Dubai’s leisure sector, encouraged me to give up my consulting career and join the company full-time.”
As an award winning entertainment destination and the largest of its kind in the region, Waseem Hassan, the Chief Business Support & Transformation officer at DXB Entertainments believes that in the future, tourists will travel to Dubai specifically to visit Dubai Parks and Resorts™, in the same way that Disney is synonymous with Orlando, Florida. “When people come to Dubai, we want to be considered the destination of choice,” affirms Hassan. “Dubai is already a major tourism hub and we want our theme parks to be the place to visit, have fun and socialise. There are many destinations around the globe with theme parks, but what they don’t have is an integrated theme park destination like Dubai Parks and Resorts™ which has something for everyone, and all age groups. Across our four theme parks, we have approximately with over 100 rides, that range from high-adrenaline thrill seeking rides such as our Capitol Bullet Train at MOTIONGATE™ DUBAI, to more inclusive family friendly activities such the Build-A-Raft River at the LEGOLAND® WATER PARK. The combination of world class rides and the opportunity to meet characters from your favorite movies and shows makes Dubai Parks and Resorts an unmissable destination for any tourist.”
Using data analytics to improve the customer experience is a key area for DXB Entertainments. With digitalisation driving change in industries all over the world, DXB Entertainments prides itself on being renowned as a ‘smart park.’ “Our digital transformation approach has been centered around the smart park concept,” explains Hassan. “Visitors could come into our theme parks with wristbands to gain access and make any purchase without using a wallet – this technology exists. I believe we’ve built our services to be incredibly scalable.”
“We truly understand the importance of a customer-centric approach and believe that data will help us better understand our customers,” explains Abraham. “Customer footfall analytics allows us to make informed decisions about operational management,” he says. “They provide us with an understanding about which part of the parks are visited the most, as well as the time and duration spent at each site. By understanding and tracking each step of the guest journey we ensure we are responsive to the needs of our customers, continuously improving our offering and delivering on our promise to offer best-in-class guest experiences.”
“We bring together a unique blend of value and innovation to create unforgettable experiences for our visitors” says Abraham. In our industry, you must be extremely customer-centric - it’s essential.”
Abraham understands the importance of leveraging technology to drive business growth and considers it as a two-part process. “Firstly, we have to ask ourselves this question: can technology bring service improvements? Secondly, how can we use technology as an enabler for business growth?” he says. “In other words, what can we introduce as a value addition which enhances the value chain for the business? For example, we can introduce store credits on the wristband to encourage visitors to purchase items with it, eliminating the need for them to carry wallets on rides. If the customer doesn’t spend the credits during their first visit, it creates an opportunity for a re-visit as the store credits would still be available for a defined period of time. It’s all about monetising these services while generating additional value for the customer.”
Having developed several strategic business relationships, Abraham points to DXB Entertainments’ partnerships with Dell EMC, Cisco, IBM, GBM & Microsoft as particularly influential. “Dell EMC has been providing us with key services for our data centers. In terms of infrastructure, Cisco is a key partner for us as we have consolidated on their networking services - everything goes through these,” he explains. “On the analytics front, we’ve partnered with Kloudspot, a company based out of the US that is focused on AI and analytics, which we use to measure customer footfalls and movements through the park and are able to analyse the dwell patterns across the entire customer journey. We have also forged strategic collaborations with companies like Inferrix, MGC, Infobeans, who specialise in the IoT, AI and robotic process automation (RPA) space. They constantly evolve their products and develop their capabilities, which we benefit from.”
Looking to the future, Waseem Hassan – Chief Business Support & Transformation Officer - believes the next stage of his organisation’s digital transformation is a complete automation across all processes and operations. “We will use RPA to streamline our back-end processes, such as procurement, invoicing, payables, and everything in the value chain,” says Hassan. “We piloted RPA within IT to fast track all the service calls, so it doesn’t require human intervention. The next stage is to scale it further and automate finance, procurement and HR. The entire onboarding process of staff can be an RPA-driven process, which will make it more efficient and cost-effective.”