For years, Dubai struggled to recover from the financial crisis that shook the world in 2008. But now it seems the city is back in business in a big way.
Millions are flocking once again to this desert oasis in an unprecedented tourism boom.
After reaching record lows, visitor numbers have risen sharply with over 15 million tourists arriving last year. And they’re expected to keep coming.
Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum said his city is “more attractive” than ever before. He went on to say that he wants 20 million visitors by 2020 which would definitely place Dubai at the top of any list when it comes to global attractions.
Spending across all sectors has helped grow the economy and create thousands of new jobs.
Critics though say Dubai is still deeply in debt and remains overly reliant on tourism. But as more people arrive, they’re spending more money boosting the economy beyond just hotels and restaurants.
The city has also worked to attract luxury brands with a string of deals signed recently including a franchise deal for a Ferrari theme park that will be built here over the next few years.
Dubai already expects an even busier year ahead as some major events come to town including Euro 2020 which will see some matches played here along with Glasgow, Rome, Baku, St Petersburg and Copenhagen hosting games too. And then there’s Expo 2020 which kicks off later this year promising to bring millions more here from across the globe.
Last year alone, more than 15 million tourists visited the desert oasis, with many expected to keep coming. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum said his city is “more attractive” than ever before and plans to invite 20 million people by 2020. Critics feel that Dubai remains overly reliant on its tourist industry, but as visitors come they’re spending more money boosting the economy beyond just hotels and restaurants. The city has also worked to attract luxury brands with a string of deals including the franchise deal for the upcoming Ferrari theme park that will be built here over the next few years. Many major events are also coming to town including Euro 2020 which will see some football games played here, along with Glasgow, Rome, Baku, St Petersburg and Copenhagen hosting games too. Then there’s Expo 2020 that kicks off later this year promising to bring millions more people to Dubai from across the globe.
On any given night in Dubai, parties can be found at luxury hotels, restaurants and bars to suit all tastes. Millions of people flocked to this desert Arab city last year as it led a tourism recovery across the Middle East , with visitors enticed by an array of attractions.
Tourism is one sector that has greatly benefited from the oil-rich emirate’s economic growth over past years.
The Dubai government estimates 2015 saw around 14 million visitors – well above 10 million in 2014 — spending over $30 billion (28 billion euros).
“We had three key elements: first was obviously good value for money… second, we had no visibility on terrorism… third was great destinations,” Gordon Ramsay Management trainee Arif Ghaus told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
Dubai’s ruler has announced plans to push ahead with another major project – an artificial island shaped like a palm tree, known as Palm Jumeirah, which will be twice the size of London’s Hyde Park.