Dubai Tourism – How it Grew as an Industry

For the unique location of Dubai in the world map, it becomes a favorable destination for millions of tourists, both  for business and leisure. In tourism literature, destination development is the key factor and the research approached it, from the theme of various disciplines and perspectives. The perspectives are:

  • Government Policies
  • Destinations spatial evolution
  • Marketing and business strategies
  • Development impact

Based on the critical analysis of these factors, the growth of a place for resort as major tourism hub or not depends and Dubai’s tourism has progressed very well over last 3 decades.

In 1980s and early 1990s, a well-thought-out tourism strategy has been taken by Dubai, that now encompasses all spheres and innovations. Tourism now became a core-sector contributing to Dubai’s economy and it represents 20% of Dubai’s GDP and approximately, accounts to 6% of total employment, comes from this industry.

For marketing and promotion of the tourism industry, the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), established in 1997, works along with respective stakeholders and entities to create the vision, execute and supervise development plans. The focus of Dubai’s tourism is on hotels, restaurants, meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions(MICE), travel-services and thematic-tourism.

Unlike, most of the neighbours, Dubai has enjoyed a socio-political stability over the centuries. This in-turn improve the standard of living and provide security. Globally, Dubai is accepted as a liberal cosmopolitan society and almost nil crime/civil unrest threats. 80% of city’s population are expatriates.

The accessibility to the outside world and the advances of its transport sector, closely linked to Dubai’s tourism growth.The government even preparing for a new airport to carter for increase freights. The Emirates airlines are internationally reputed for their excellent services, world’s most technologically sophisticated and award-winning recognition for good customer-services. It also boasts for the world’s longest fully-automated railway system, stretching a distance of 43Miles, serving 47stations. An upcoming project of 1500 railway lines, which will connect Dubai to Oman, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other emirates. Again, Dubai also provide a hub for large cruise ships.

The 64KM long coastline of Dubai, has a rich attraction center with several high-ranking tourist resort centres, having important tourist activities like sailing, skiing, surfing, fishing,bird-watching and golfing. The desert also provides magnificent excursions for camel-riding, sand-skiing, dune-diving, wadis-exploration and visiting to selected oases and forts. The city also has extensive network of shopping malls stocked with world verities and elegant skyscrapers.

The chief essential amenities for tourist are accommodation, so hotel development is the government’s top agenda. Due to relaxation of land-leasing rules the hospitality development is growing largely with five-star rating properties. The hydropolis hotel, that is constructed nearly 20m under-water and Burj-Al-Arab, world’s only hotel with seven-star rating.

Some trends like Halal, middle-class, medical, smart and integrated tourism’s through IT and robots will impact the tourism sector, are coming up. The governments initiatives are expected, to give a big boost to the industry, but also keeping in mind the sustainability of the entire process.


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