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How tourism led Dubai from poverty to riches

by Staff Writer
14 May 2019 at 17:47hrs | Views
Dubai was once one of the world's best-kept travel secrets, but today, it is the travel hotspot on everyone's lips. In the past, Dubai was one of the poorest cities in the world. Since its tourism boom, the economy has also experienced a welcome boost. In fact, tourism contributed over $64 billion to the UAE's economy in 2016 alone, and this is a figure that is set to double by the year 2026. It is an inspiration to many other hopeful destinations, but just how has tourism led Dubai from poverty to riches?

How tourism changed the game

City beaches

Dubai is renowned for its glittering, city beaches, which make their way onto every glossy postcard and social media post. The most popular are Marina Beach and Jumeirah Beach, which are both only a stone's throw from the bustling city center.

What many people don't know is that these beaches are all man-made, which means they have been tailored to suit the needs of tourists. This is an undeniably smart business move. Not only do these beaches bring more money into the local economy, but their bright, white shores need little marketing from anyone other than happy tourists. Whether you're searching for a blissful business trip setting or a luxury, last-minute special deal, there's something here for everyone.

Large-scale architecture

When people think of Dubai, minds often drift to images of silvery skyscrapers and rooftop bars. Many buildings like the Burj Khalifa have achieved universal acclaim among architects and tourists, and they are no doubt one of the main tourist attractions in Dubai.

Everything about this architecture connotes wealth and prosperity, and it's true that this kind of image attracts wealthy visitors in turn. These buildings are mainly used for business purposes, but that isn't a bad thing. Instead, Dubai has attracted a whole new travel demographic of business visitors to come and indulge in its offerings. Combined with its futuristic hotels, there's no one who wouldn't want to spend money staying in the heart of Dubai.

A shopping haven

It is no secret that retail outlets do wonders to help an economy. The more people shop in a destination, the more money the destination has to pump into the economy. This is something Dubai has perfected in recent years, turning itself into a once-tempting city break to a full-blown shopping hotspot.

Dubbed the shopping capital of the Middle East, Dubai's retail market is expected to reach sales of Dh160.7 billion by 2021. This is even after the recent introduction of VAT (Value Added Tax) on purchases. Both the Dubai Mall and Mall of the Emirates have contributed to this rise, thanks to their abundance of designer stores and high-end boutiques. These outlets often mean keen fashion lovers will travel thousands of miles to shop here.

Thriving nightlife

For many travelers, a key feature that attracts them to a destination is the nightlife. This is especially true among the younger generations, but Dubai's prestigious nightlife is famed for being far classier and more expensive than anywhere else in the world. Due to these expensive drinks, the local economy booms every night of the week.

In most other destinations, expensive drinks and food put people off. In Dubai, it does the opposite. The colorful cocktails and opulent d├ęcor allow anyone to live in luxury for the night, where rooftop bars and hotel clubs are the main pull. It helps that there is a strict, non-casual dress code for travelers wishing to visit one of the best spots.

Dubai International Airport

When a destination is easy to reach, it becomes a more attractive option for visitors who want a stress-free holiday experience. This almost always means the tourism industry of this destination can expect more travelers contributing to their local economy.

Dubai International Airport has not only garnered a reputation for being convenient, but cost-effective. As one of the largest airports in the world, it is also well equipped to deal with large volumes of tourists with ease. Many of these tourists are stopping over in Dubai for a few nights as they make a long-distance journey across the world. This only creates a positive impact on the economy. Thanks to being the number one connection hub in the world, even these short-term visitors do a lot to help the local and international economy grow.

A sustainable future

Many economists will attribute Dubai's economic success in the oil industry. Yet, tourism has proven time and time again to be a better and more sustainable income channel. This is largely because oil is expected to run out in the near future, but tourism won't. Thanks to the rise of tourism in recent years, it has become a viable way of keeping the Dubai economy afloat, even in difficult times.

 Luckily, the government is already making plans to capitalize on this success, meaning their economy will be set on a more sustainable path. As the city steps away from oil, this may also make it more appealing to the younger generations when they begin traveling. This will only add to the appeal of Dubai.

Source - Byo24News
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