The Dubailand project, which represents the biggest project in the tourism, leisure and entertainment sector in the Middle East, was launched by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktourn, Crown Prince of Dubai.
It is expected to attract visitors from all over the world, at all times of the year, and is part of Dubai’s Strategic Plan to transform the Emirate into an international tourism attraction. The government is working on the infrastructure. The private sector will benefit from investment opportunities.
Dubailand will be built on a two billion sq ft area and will include 45 main projects and 200 sub-projects.
Overall investments are estimated to be more than Dh18 billion - excluding the cost of the infrastructure.
“The new project complements perfectly Dubai’s Strategic Plans to add more depth to the tourism sector and contribute towards transforming Dubai into one of the internationally leading tourist destinations, thereby attracting 15 million tourists by the year 2010. At the same time, it will also reinforce the UAE’s position in the global economy,” said Sheikh Mohammed.
He added: “Dubailand project is an initiative that combines bold vision, strategic perspective and horizons of success with the ability to encourage and attract investments and expertise.
“It is an initiative that strengthens the bond between the government and the private sector, in which the government works on developing the infrastructure and providing an environment that encourages the growth of business and gives a chance for the private sector to benefit from the large investment opportunities that it provides.”
He pointed out that the project comes after two years of intensive studies and research, and will include international attractions that would bring in more than 200,000 visitors on a daily basis. This will give the tourism sector in the country a thrust and will increase its contribution to the GDP from 12 per cent to 20 per cent.
He added: “What we have achieved in the tourism sector is promising, as the UAE has developed to become one of the fastest-growing tourism destinations in the year 2002, which by itself, is a triumph for such a new destination.
“However, we are committed to achieving our goal of transforming the country into an internationally recognised tourist destination by attracting 15 million tourists by the year 2010. We have prepared ourselves to achieve this goal by working on different approaches. For example, Emirates airline continued its strong expansion by placing a $26 billion order for new aircraft. So has Dubai International Airport, which aims at welcoming more than 75 million travelers annually by increasing its capacity by investing $4.5 billion. This comes at a time when the sectors of tourism, hotels and services are witnessing rapid development.”
He said, “ We believe that we have competitive advantages that make our country the finest tourism destination in the world attracting visitors from all around the globe.
“We are blessed geographically with a location that literary makes us the bridge between East and West and we are conveniently located and easily accessible. The UAE is already the trade and commercial hub to a region that includes the GCC, Levant, Africa, Central Asia and the Subcontinent - a region with over 1.5 billion people and a combined GDP in excess of $1.5 trillion.
“The country also enjoys the advantage of offering a safe and family-friendly environment with distinguished natural resources and developed tourist and hotel facilities that are qualified to develop new streams in the tourism sector.”
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