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Tourism Case Study

Background of the emirates supported by recent statistics.

The emirate selected for the case study is Dubai.

One of seven semi-autonomous states within the United Arab Emirates called Dubai has
turned out to be a rising force in the Middle East. Half a century ago Dubai was only a focal
point were a few thousand weather stricken people somehow pushed and pulled their life
ahead collecting picking dates, diving for pearls, or sailing in wooden dhows to trade with
Iran and India, Dubai was as poor as any village in Somalia or the Sudan. It was in 1971 the
six states namely Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Dubai, Ajman, Umm al-Quwain, and Fujairah were
united. And in1972 Ras Al-Khaimah joined the unification, The United Arab Emirates (UAE)
were thus formally established with declaration from H.H Sheikh Zayed that the UAE was
established as an Independent Nation with the aim of maintaining Independence, stability
and co-operation.

The turn of 20th century saw Dubai becoming popular in the modern business world as safe
and prosperous port. Dubai was very quick to establish itself as a natural heaven for
merchants as the facilities for trade and free enterprises were great. 'Meanwhile a
flourishing Indian population was settling in Dubai and was particularly active in the shops
and alleys of the souq. In fact, a major factor in the growth of Dubai in the early post-war
years was the re-export of gold to India. The cosmopolitan atmosphere and air of tolerance
began to attract other foreigners too. Some years later the British made their Centre on the
coast, establishing a political agency in 1954' (DTCM 2005).

However, being the most developed area in the region did not just provide for the adequate
infrastructure of Dubai. In spite of the reputation Dubai had by the middle of the 20th
century, the city just did not have enough roads, electricity, sewers or telephone. The
infrastructure building had started in Dubai even before the discovery of oil in 1969, but
once the revenue from the oil began to flow in the building process gained momentum.
'Trade remained the foundation of the city's wealth, whilst other projects were developed
over the next 20 years. The airport became one of the busiest in the area, a large dry-dock
complex was developed, the largest artificial port in the world was built at Jebel Ali and
Dubai Aluminum Company (DUBAL), which has become one of the emirate's largest non-oil
related industry, came on-line in 1979' (DTCM 2005).
In the year 2000, the Burj Al Arab was already being a host to the excited wealthy tourist
from around the world. The Arab nation was still overwhelmed in the amazing aesthetics of
the new construction, the world witnessed one of its toughest times. The economy at large
shuddered under heavy recessions. Dubai has come a long way to evolve as a truly global
tourist destination enabled through its robust tourism industry. With an annual tourist
inflow of over 14.2 million. Tourism and hospitality has been one of the torchbearers of the
economy, contributing near around 20 percent towards Dubai economy with tentatively 7
annual growth rates. In 2016, 14.87 million Overnight visitors visited Dubai and with these
figures Dubai was the fourth most visited city of the world. In the first half of 2017, number
of foreign visitors rose by 10.6 percent to 8.06 million and this percentage includes almost
1.05 million, whereas by passing days the number of visitors from China and Russia is also
Tourism in Dubai is an important part of the Dubai government's strategy to maintain the
flow of foreign cash into the emirates. Dubai's lure for tourists is based mainly on shopping,
but also on its possession of other ancient and modern attractions. Dubai has a modest dress
code as part of its criminal law. Sleeveless tops and short dresses may not be allowed at Dubai
Mall. Clothes are advised to be in appropriate lengths.

Expats and tourists are not allowed to consume alcohol in public, besides licensed venues
(such as bars and hotel restaurants) or private homes.

In just few years Dubai has been one of the most important cities in the world. It changed
from an ordinary city to an amazing city that everyone wants to visit and enjoy the beautiful
places in it. Let's see what is so special about Dubai to be one of the most important cities in
the world?
Many people visits Dubai every year not just ordinary people but celebrities and important
people too. They come from different countries and places Arab countries and others like
England, USA, Australia, South Africa...etc.


Tourism development in Dubai is closely linked to its advances in the transport sector and its
accessibility to the outside world. Dubai has clear ambitions of being a major focus in the air
transport in the whole region and to this effect the Dubai authorities are putting in place the
necessary infrastructural facilities. Dubai's civil aviation has progressed quite well and its
airport is among the top twenty busiest in the world as measured by the passenger volume.
Between 1990 and 2004, about 20 million passengers were carried by 100 airlines serving
operating between 145 different destinations.
Figure 1 Top 10 Market Visitor To Dubai Year 2016 and 2017

Tourism Development in the emirate over a period of time. (Data on tourist arrival, hotel
occupancy etc.)

Dubai is a member country of the Middle East region. The whole of this region generally
attracts few tourists thanks to political turmoil which over the decades have generated
tensions and uncertainties not only in the region but also in the whole world. Some other
hindrances to effective tourism development in the region include lack of poor state of
infrastructural development, limited promotion and lack of attractions. In spite of all these
setbacks, Dubai has however managed to see a flourishing tourism industry save for its
tourism policies. The authorities in the country have managed to implement sound
economic diversification programs which together with extensive marketing have resulted in
a booming tourism industry. Dubai has heavily invested in expensive state of the art
facilities, undertaken deep marketing and these has resulted in the growth of her tourism.
Her future expectations are very high as reflected by the setting of sky rocketing arrival
targets. Actually Dubai has demonstrated a capability to overcome the challenges faced by
the tourism industry and has established itself as an authority in the industry with a very
high growth rate. This therefore makes Dubai an interesting example of a booming Middle
East centre for tourism that is fast creating new and more opportunities and realizing its full
This notwithstanding, there are some constraints that which may inhibit the potentiality of
Dubai's tourism industry to be achieved. These factors call for review of policies and

Destination development is a key factor in tourism literature and research approaches this
theme from various disciplines and perspectives. These perspectives are;

Government policies.
Destination's spatial evolution
Business strategies and marketing
Development impacts

Estimate number of visitors by 2020 20 Million

Figure 2 Estimated number of tourists (in million)

Estimated number of rooms 93,030

Estimated Occupancy level 86.5%

Average daily room rate 1070AED

Overnight visitors in Dubai spent $10.9 billion (Dh40 billion). That's about Dh3000/- average
spend per person.
Figure 3International Overnight Visitor

A brief summary of attractions that are being promoted in the emirates.

Dubai is the most populous emirate of the seven emirates of United Arab Emirates. It is
distinct from other members of the UAE in that revenues from petroleum and natural gas
account for only 6% of its gross domestic product. A majority of the emirates revenues are
from the Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZ) and now, increasingly, from tourism. Dubai is expected to
accommodate over 15 million tourists by2015. Dubai is the most populous emirate of the
seven emirates of United Arab Emirates. It is distinct from other members of the UAE in that
a large part of the emirates revenues are from tourism. Dubai has been called the "shopping
capital of the Middle East Dubai alone has more than 70 shopping malls, including the
world's 7th largest shopping mall, Dubai Mall. The city draws large numbers of shopping
tourists from countries within the region and from as far as Eastern Europe, Africa and the
Indian Subcontinent. While boutiques, some electronics shops, department stores and
supermarkets operate on a fixed- price basis, most other outlets consider friendly
negotiation a way of life. Dubai is also known for its souk districts located on either side of
the creek.
Dhow trip on Dubai Creek. Very mediocre food, a silly dance as entertainment
on some boats. Good for views of the creek and photos at night - but wobbly so
you need high ISO or low aperture setting on your camera to get good photos
(flash is a waste of time). Take a Dubai Ferry trip instead, or rent an abra on the
creek for an hour and then have dinner at McDonald's.
Global Village. Very popular but hard to understand why. Is a small amusement
park and lots of country themed stalls selling mostly the same stuff you can buy
in a super market? There are a few interesting things but takes a bit of time and
exploration to discover them. Restaurant selection isn't as great as it sounds.
The Gold Souk. the original one in Deira. Crowded, lots of fake watch sellers etc.
The gold is real though. Ok for photos of shop windows with all that glitters. For
shopping, go to the Gold and Diamond Park on Sheikh Zayed Road instead. More
relaxed, better a/c, less people. Possibly even cheaper prices.
Burj Khalifa: Dubai's landmark building is the Burj Khalifa, which is at 829.8
meters, the tallest building in the world and the most famous of the city's points
of ineterst. For most visitors, a trip to the observation deck on the 124th floor
which is a must-do while in the city.
Dubai Mall: is the city's premier mall and provides entry to the Burj Khalifa as
well as the Dubai Aquarium. There is also an ice-skating rink, gaming zone and
cinema complex as a more entertainment options. The shopping and eating is
endless and there are nearly always special events such as live music and fashion
shows within the mall. One of the city's top tourist attractions, the Dubai
Aquarium houses 140 species of sea life in the huge suspended tank on the
ground floor.
Adventure, thrills and Excitement

i. Autodrome Dubai - tear around a race track in someone else's car. Allow 2-4
ii. Balloon Flight - expensive way to see sand dunes. Allow a morning.
iii. Desert Safari - many companies offer tours, allow most of a day.

iv. Helicopter - allow an hour. Quick, efficient, expensive way to see Dubai.
v. Parachute Jump, Skydiving - visit Umm Al Quwain airfield and fall out of a plane.
Allow half a day at least.
vi. Ski Dubai - great for beginners, ok for intermediates. Experts will get bored
quickly but it's worth a trip for something different if you go with a mate. Allow
3-4 hours.
vii. Wild Wadi - water park, allow 3-6 hours.
viii. IMG World of Attractions, including lego land, Dubai Garden Glow and Miraclke

The efforts made by DMO's (Destination Management Organizations) such as SCTDA in

Sharjah, STCM in Dubai and so on.

Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority

Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) was established in 1996, in
accordance with the Emiri decree no. 5 for 1996, with a main objective to promote the
commerce and tourism activities within the emirate of Sharjah, through the following

Planning and laying down strategies to promote tourism and commerce.

Marketing & Promotion activities.
Conducting appropriate market studies and surveys.

SCTDA activities involve the organization and sponsorship of various events within the
Emirate, as the Formula 1, Formula 2, Spring Festivals, Summer Campaigns and Road Shows.

Dubai Tourism and Commerce Marketing

The Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) is the principal authority for
the planning, supervision, development and marketing of tourism in Dubai. We also market
and promote the emirates commerce sector, and are responsible for the licensing and
classification of all tourism services, including hotels establishments, tour operators, travel
agents, and all other tourism services.
DTCM is committed to strengthening the Dubai economy through attracting tourists, inward
investment into the emirate and delivering Dubais tourism vision for 2020, which includes
welcoming 20 million visitors per year by 2020. DTCM has played a pivotal role in Dubais
rise to prominence as one of the worlds leading tourism destinations, welcoming more than
10 million visitors in 2012 and 11 million in 2013. In addition to its headquarters in Dubai,
DTCM operates 20 offices worldwide. The Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing
(DTCM) plays a critical role in growing the economic contribution of tourism to the emirate
with a focus on working with governmental and private partners to both continually
enhance the destination offering of Dubai and effectively market the offering to the world.
Issues and constraints related to tourism development in the region.

Dubai is a city in the United Arab Emirates, and is recognized as one of the fastest growing
cities in the world. This rapid urbanization has led to many environmental issues because of
the harsh environment, paucity of local resources such as food, water, and building
materials, and the unplanned manner of expansion.

Issues Dubai is most likely to face in the future.

Global Warming: One of the major issue of Dubai will be Global Warming in upcoming years
as Dubai is turning to be an extremely hot state to live in, even it would be difficult to absorb
the intense heat in upcoming future. Dubai is just like the balloon filled with Warm Air, this is
how Dubai these days.

Energy: Dubai is major consumer of electricity. Their main source of electricity is natural gas,
because it is cheaper than the other alternatives. Many of the isolated buildings depend on
the large quantity of fossil fuel energy to support their large lightening and cooling needs.

Development: Among the biggest problems is facing is its rapid unplanned manner of
expansion is its rapid urbanization, motorization and rapid industrialization.

Future Problems: In the future, elimination of water resources will be one of the biggest
issue of Dubai in the nearest future because there are a lot of water problems are going on
even currently so it will be the biggest issue in future and it will effect even tourism when
this emirate will be short of water resources.
There are some more issues which Dubai can face in the upcoming future are as follows:
1. How will we find future customers to sustain our visitor targets? How will we
maintain the price premium required to deliver our desired rate of return? What will
it cost to update amenities and infrastructure to ensure we stay competitive with
other planned and future developments in the region and further afield? How will
we respond if visitor numbers dont meet our business plan targets?
2. What aspects of your culture, heritage or tradition will you emphasize in tourist
developments and promotion in the future?
3. Will you target older or younger, Americans, Europeans, locals or Asians? Will you
emphasize activity, sport, cultural or health tourism and in what mix? What do you
want your location to be famous for?
4. What is the optimum service ratio for your desired market positioning? How do you
currently compare with other destinations and attractions? Can you use a more
favorable service ratio as part of the marketing proposition? Is the region prepared
to start investing in tertiary, secondary, primary and even nursery education
facilities in Asia and Africa to educate the next two generations of service staff
required to meet the future staffing needs of the regions travel and tourism sector?
5. The lack of water could become a major constraint on the regions ability to attract
and sustain the desired levels of tourists. Rising raw material prices may affect the
viability and payback period of projects.
6. How can the Middle East define and sustain new standards of service in the face of
intense global competition?


DMO in terms of achieving its pre-determined aims/objectives towards developing

sustainable tourism.

Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) Sustainable Tourism

Initiative is born to improve the sustainability of the tourism sector and contribute to the
broader clean energy and sustainable development targets that Dubai has set out to

DST aims to deliver on Dubais tourism sustainability strategy through key mission
objectives. These objectives serve as the guiding principles that govern the Initiative.
All these objectives result in culminate in reduction in Green House Gases emissions caused
by tourism activities. As an initiative, DST aims to deliver results in cooperation with industry
and government sector.
DST Objectives

Promote sustainable consumption of resources and increase efficiency.

Enhance environmental protection practices among the hospitality sector.
Support the cooperation with Government initiatives and enhance participation.
Promote responsible tourism development through active engagement and

Dubai aims to welcome 20 million visitors by 2020.

Tourism has become one of the key pillars of Dubais economy, and we foresee its
importance in the long-term diversification strategy. Todays world is witnessing an era of
innovation, further discoveries and substantial need of natural resources to which are vital
for the continuity of our communal future. With this growth comes the responsibility to
ensure future generations enjoy the benefits of sustainable tourism development.

It is important to consider that sustainability is about more than just looking after our
natural environment. It is also about considering the social and economic impact of what we
do and how we do it.

Sustainability is a good business practice. It drives costs lower and leads to more efficient
management of resources. It reduces harmful business practices, it increases the economic
life of assets and ensures next generation will have sufficient resources to sustain healthy

(Reuters, n.d.)

Recommendations to the DMO

Towards developing and promoting sustainable tourism

Attract the Medical Tourism

Recruit Specialized Skilled persons

Increased use of environmental best practice programs and tools

Women empowerment
Social media and online promotion

Water consumption/ conservation

Not to build too many hotels as the occupancy is going down.

Environmentally friendly tourism

After hosting Expo 2020, Dubai can also host Olympics for further marketing of its tourism
and trade industries. And also grant the region the chance to host the games.

Weir, K. (2017, July 30). Dubai visitor numbers rise by more than 10 percent in first half of
2017. Retrieved from:

Performance of top 10 source markets. (2017, September). Retrieved from:

Global warming in UAE Time to reduce emissions. (Jan 23). Retrieved from:

Dubai tourism statistics and trends. (2015, Nov 18). Retrieved from:

Dubai tourism industry upbeat Key performance trends 2016. (2016, Sept 22). Retrieved

Dubai Tourism - number of international overnight visitors from 2010 to 2016. (2017,
September). Retrieved from:

UAE economic outlook 2015. (2015, March 23). Retrieved from: