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General Highlights of Tourism industry in Dubai:- Dubai is one of the seven emirates of United Arab Emirates. The fortune of this city changed with the discovery of oil and gas in 1966. This natural wealth is the main drive and the back bone of its economy. In 1979, Jebel Ali the largest man made port allowed to foreign companies unrestricted import of labour and export capital which changed the fortune of the this city. Since then, there is massive development and investment in the infrastructure by government which make it hub of commercial property, tourism, IT and finance services. There is huge foreign direct investment in Dubai in the recent decades due to encouragement the Government of Dubai, Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing and providing a strong platform to develop business and tourism. It is one of the most cosmopolitan city and largest population the in the Arab Peninsula.
The development of tourism is under was established in 1997 to replace Dubai Commerce and Tourism Promotion Board to improve the image of Dubai and restructure the organisation for the improvement in performance, planning and development of tourism sector in Emirate. It errands include the marketing of the Emirate round the world which include exhibitions, visits by foreign delegations to explore business opportunities, information service and marketing in various media. It got office the 18 different cities round the world in five different continents who are working to promote the image of Dubai. It is also responsible for the licensing of hotel, hotel apartments, tour operator, travel agents. It also looks after archaeological heritage sites and tour conferences and exhibitions in and out of the Dubai to attract investment and tourist in the Emirate. It ensures in putting the controls and assurances protocols for increasing the number of visits to Dubai but also improving the quality of experience for the visit for business, work, education or leisure. It has setup training solutions for the travel, tourism and hospitality sector to ensure Dubai tourism industry remain the world class in the research, development and providing extraordinary experience for the people who visit it.
Statists on Tourism
According to Euro Monitor International (2008) top city destination ranking, Dubai ranked 8 in the world with 7.6 million people visiting it. There was a growth of about 13.8% in the number of people as compare to the year 2007/08. It is most visited city in the Middle East and extremely competitive with other leading cities in the world i.e. Singapore and Paris which has about 8.9 millions and 8.3 millions visits a year respectively. There is still strong potential in this growth in the coming years.
According to Dubai's Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), there is significant and continues increase the number of people visiting Dubai. Table (a), shows there is about 57% increase in the 6 years. The numbers are steadily rising from the last decade starting from 4.9 m in year 2004 then numbers creeps to 5.4m in 2005, 5.8m 2006, 6.6m in 2007, 7.6m in 2008 and about 8.6m. On average there is about 10% increase in the number of visitors in Dubai. This shows even in the most tough time crisis situation i.e. the current crisis of sub prime mortgage, the number did not dip and keep on increasing during these tough times. This is due to the tax free facilities for the foreign investors and infrastructure provided by the government for various industries. Another factor was the backbone of the economy is driven by the oil an gas and oil prices was at peak during most of the time especially 2007-2009. This generates a huge profit for the Dubai to invest it in its tourism business.
Foreign Tourist Arrivals to Dubai by Purpose
One can divide the foreigners who come to Dubai in these categories
This report will only focus on the first group i.e. tourist as it is most relevant to the scope of the topic.
The Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), is working with the private investor to make Dubai a hotspot for people first choice destination for their holidays. Most of tourists are from Western Europe, Far East and America. To keep the interest of the tourists DTCM is building state of the art infrastructure facilities. The aim is to give them relax and please experience. They also working with the interior ministry to control crime and make the environment safe and peaceful for the visitors. It has one of safest place in the world because the law is tough and people do respect the law. They are also regulating hotel to ensure they should provide value for money and should not provide second class services which should damage the brand of the city. When in Dubai, the majority of people one can see are Indians and Pakistanis because they make 75% of Dubai's expats. Freedom of worship is allowed to all religions. Access to media is freely available in print and electronic form. Dubai has one of the best road and traffic policing system in the world. A lot of the tourist visit Dubai in winter as the weather is much milder and sunny especially from November to March. It has some best beaches hotel which provide excellent facility to its customers. Dubai is also famous for its shopping. Shopping malls, gold and electronic good at a competitive price encourages the tourist to buy a lot of stuff. As it is cosmopolitan city most of the people do understand English and it is one of the ingredients for its success. Apart from this excellent infrastructure, there are various places which Dubai stand out of the crowd.
It is famous for its Desert Safari. DTCM has developed this amazing adventure for the tourists. It is absolutely life time experience and people do get to see the rural and cultural side of the Dubai which is very colourful and rich. It also shows the variety in the city has from skyscraper to wealthy wild life in the desert with the ancient customs. It will be an amazing experience, which one will never forget in your life. The traditional middle eastern food is available with continental cuisine is readily available throughout the Emirates.
Dubai is famous for its skyscrapers and has the world tallest building i.e. Burj-al-Arab. Here are the few key tourist attractions.
Main Tourist's attraction in Dubai:-
1.Â Â Â Â Â The Tower of Dubai (Burj-al-Arab)
2.Â Â Â Â Â Ski Dubai
3.Â Â Â Â Â Wild Wadi Water Park
4.Â Â Â Â Â Dubai Museum
The Tower of Dubai (Burj-al-Arab)
Â Burj Khalifa was called Burj DubaiÂ before it launch is the world tallest building completed in over 6 years. It is combination of vision and solid science. It is about 800 metres high and has more than 160 stories. It is a building and master piece who speak for itself. Despite of credit crunch and problem of sub prime market in the property, this building attract the attention of people all over the world. It is tallest free structure in the world. According to its website it sums up its height and structure to other skyscrapers in these word. " Not only is Burj Khalifa the world's tallest building, it has also broken two other impressive records: tallest structure, previously held by the KVLY-TV mast in Blanchard, North Dakota, and tallest free-standing structure, previously held by Toronto's CN Tower. The Chicago-based Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) has established 3 criteria to determine what makes a tall building tall. Burj Khalifa wins by far in all three categories.Â Â Height is measured from the level of the lowest, significant, open-air, pedestrian entrance to the architectural top of the building. This includes spires, but does not include antennae, signage, flagpoles or other functional-technical equipment. This measurement is the most widely used and is used to define the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat rankings of the Tallest Buildings in the World".
It has highest number of stories and stories occupied in the world. It has highest outdoor observation deck and elevator with the longest travel distance in the world. It has also tallest service elevator in the world. In simple word you can put it as tallest of the supertall. According to news about it height to trip, " Height is measured from the level of the lowest, significant, open-air, pedestrian entrance to the highest point of the building, irrespective of material or function of the highest element. This includes antennae, flagpoles, signage and other functional-technical equipment". It has world famous 7 start hotel and people from all over the world come to see this massive pillar and state of excellent craftsmanship.
It is indoor ski resort with more than 22,500 sq. metres area. It has one of the largest shopping malls in the world. It is extremely incredible achievement for the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing. It is extremely risky idea where the average temperate in summer is about 48Â°C and on average in winter its is about 25Â°C to approve such an artificial project. But to attract tourist, they employed the people and technology so that people can enjoy beach and ski resort in the same city. It has 85 metres high indoor mountains with 5 slopes of varies steepness including 400 metres long run. There is a quad lift and a two lift carry skiers up the mountain. Other attractions include a mirror maze and a snowman-making area. Winter clothing and ski equipment is available for rent. According to Ski Dubai (2010), "An extremely efficient insulation system helps the facility maintain a temperature of âˆ’1 Â°C during the day and âˆ’6 Â°C at night when the snow is produced. Nevertheless, the facility consumes 3000 gallons of oil each day, generating huge amounts of greenhouse gases. It also achieved award for the Thea Outstanding Achievement Award by Themed Entertainment Association. Ski Dubai was the location of a detour in the 10th leg of theÂ realityÂ game showÂ The Amazing Race AsiaÂ on itsÂ first season".
3.Â Â Â Â Â Wild Wadi Water Park
TheÂ Wild Wadi Water ParkÂ is a key leisure location for tourist in Dubai. It is close proximity of Burj Al Arab and Jumeirah Beach Hotel. It is an out door water park with pools, water surfing turfs and water slides. It has amazing Race Asia ride which is a drop of 21 m. It has also the largest water slide outside America. It has great attraction for the family and the key visitors are teenagers and families. The famous ride in this water park is Family ride, Jumeirah Sceirah, Flow Rider, Breakers Bay, Juha Journey and Juha's Dhow and Lagoon.
4.Â Â Â Â Â Dubai Museum
It is main museum of Dubai. It was built in 1787 and is the oldest existing building in Dubai. The museum was opened by the ruler of Dubai in 1971, with the aim of presenting the traditional way of life in theÂ EmirateÂ of Dubai. It includes local antiquities as well as artefacts from African and Asian countries that traded with Dubai. Some of the antiques are more than 3000 BC. People with the interest in human history and archaeology visit this place to see the past of this cosmopolitan city. According to Gulf Times(2008), it has about 1800 visitor daily with over 0.5 millions people visiting this museum every year.
Infrastructure of Tourism in Dubai
The Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing is ensuring to invest and dedicated sufficient resources for state of the art infrastructure for tourism. It has excellent telecommunication facility. It has high speed bandwidth for internet and unmatched quality for service and world class experience for its internet, telephone, mobile and fax users. The customers get value for money. It also has very reliable post service under General Postal Authority and all major multinational commercial courier services are readily available. Dubai has high class accommodation with luxury apartments are available in multi-storey building, houses, bungalows and villas. Car parking with facilities are available in all major shopping malls and recreational facilities. It also has sport facilities and various football pitches, swimming pools, cricket stadiums, squash and tennis courts and golf facilities etc. Although the weather is extremely hot in summer and mild in winter air-conditioning facilities is available in most of the residential apartments, hotels, shopping malls and offices. Dubai has plenty of government and private medial care facilities available. It has well equipped public and private hospitals offering health services. Dubai has state of the art airport with flights to all major cities in the world throughout the day with several times a week. The Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing publishes a number of newsletters, broachers, leaflets, posters other other relevant material are available to individuals and companies interested in doing business with Dubai or visiting it.
Tourism Contribution in Dubai Economy
According to Ameinfo(2010), Tourism contributed about 30% of the GDP, which is about $13.8 bn. As stated by Khalid Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Director General of DTCM, said: "If tourism's contribution to Dubai's economy needs to be sustained, the sector will require a significant flow of investments, expertise, talent and knowledge. We are keen to support initiatives such as TDIM which will be a great platform for investors and provide a boost for the region's tourism sector." Besides DTCM, several leading public and private sector players in the region's tourism sector have confirmed participation at the show. They include Nakheel, Dubai World Central (DWC), Emirates Airlines, Falcon City of Wonders, Dubailand, Aldar Properties, Al Ain Wildlife Parks & Resorts, Al Qudra Real Estate, Al Hanoo Holdings, the Syrian Ministry of Tourism and B&G Hotels & Resorts from Egypt.Â There is a huge potential as the tourists are increasing in number continuously and the Dubai can benefit from these increasing number. One more thing is about their natural resources, as they may not last therefore they have come up with some more sustainable business to keep their economy up and running. And these are few points which are discuss in the section of report.
Current Govt policies for tourism development
Initial Public Offering Boost For Dubia(UAE)
According to current policy, "the bonanza of 2007 initial public offerings in the Gulf region largely passed by UAE, whose investor profile is impeded by an underdeveloped capital markets regulatory environment, and the fact that listings are divided between theÂ DubaiÂ and Abu Dhabi Financial Markets".
What kind of tourism do they want and why?
The can invest in medical tourism, more focus on investment tourism, educational tourism and eco tourism. There are plenty of gaps especially in the educational and eco-tourism. Although government has initiated a project with the zero foot print of carbon but more need to be done in this area. Apart form this education tourism is a big market. Another area is medical tourism. There are lot of people from South Asian origin who are and working in Dubai and lot of them are medial doctors. Dubia, has the infrastructure of health care which can provide world class treatment to the patients. Tourists especially from Western Europe can be targeted to have their treatment in a quick time and competitive rate. One of the area which is extremely expensive is of dentist. People can have a holiday and at the same time they can get their health treatment which can be extremely cheap as compare to their native country. This is a huge market opportunity. As Dubai is becoming the hub for IT, Finance and Property, a world class leading educational intuitions which has collaboration with international top universities to prepare a workforce who can support and manage the economy. Once they create such a place people from round the world will come to that intuition which has name and centre for excellence in education. This will be again huge market for the Dubai. This will not only develop competitive workforce but also create a centre for research in various academic disciplines which can help them in creating innovative idea and be successful economic and scientific systems. The government need to more focus on communicate and awareness among the international community to rightly promote tourism in respect of Dubai cultural and law.
What are they doing to achieve that????
Currently, the government is working with the universities round to world to create collaboration to build the centre for excellence. The prime example is the University of Middlesex, which has a campus in Dubai. But it is not a start, they need to develop native universities and have affiliation with top universities in the world i.e. Cambridge, Oxford and Harvard etc. The government is also working with hospital and the key medial staff to make arrangement which can accommodate medical tourism but still a lot more work needs to be accomplished. In government is investing in eco-friendly alternative technologies as natural resources are not sustainable for endless time. More work needs to be done to show the world how Dubai is becoming environmental friendly city with cutting carbon foot prints and reducing green houses affect. This will also encourage the companies whose cultural believe in corporate social responsibility and will be willing to invest in the Dubai. It will also attract the people with the mind frame to eco friendly mind and will visit the place more often and it will be tourist first choice. . The government need to more focus on communicate and awareness among the international community to rightly promote tourism in respect of Dubai cultural and law. There are instances where ordinary people especially from the western countries by decency or narcotics law. The prime example every year people got caught by the Dubai police for kissing in public or people containing 0.06 grams of cannabis with them. It badly hurt the image of Dubai as brand in general public.
In terms of---positive as well as negative Impacts of tourism in Dubai:-
On the positive side, tourism is extremely beneficial for the economy and it is sustainable. As the natural resources are running out Dubai, some investment needs to be made in tourism to make it hub of Middle East. On the negative side, it the Dubai does not communicate well with all the nationalities which is extremely difficult as some may come to visit it for just a day, it will be impossible for those tourists to comprehend and go through all the information and follow it.
Either they have to make law simpler or a bit relax for the foreign tourist or they may loose market share of international tourism. Some people in the west think the laws in Dubai are hypocritical. This needs to be improved if they want to keep the brand of Dubai as a modern cosmopolitan city.
Conclusion and recommendation:-
Above discussion helps us understands that Dubai has gone from small industrialised state to attractive tourism destination in last 10 years. Most of the credit goes to huge foreign investment as a result of ease in laws. However, Dubai still needs to do more in order to become world competitive tourism destination. Following actions are recommended to boosts its tourism aspects:
It should try to win a bid to host games such as football and Cricket
Research suggests that civil laws are complex and tourists sometimes found it difficult to interpret. As a result of which they found themselves in difficulties which is evident from the current situation of British tourist when he was kissing his girlfriend. Dubai state should make it easier for tourists to understand the local laws.
It should also consider giving out its citizenship to foreign investors who wish to settle in the state. Evidence suggests that when such immigration take place, it follows by more visitors to that particular state from the applicant country of origin.
Tourism can be boosted very quickly if Dubai can introduce an extension of Disney Resort or similar kind but with a theme of local culture.