Umm Al Quwain is now part of a well worn tourism trend that sees the development of satellite destinations around a hotspot.
While the emirate will never be another Dubai, it is seeing enough tourism action to make sure it finds its place in the sun, making it more than just the place to go skydiving when visiting the UAE.
In total, foreign investment in Umm Al Quwain hit the Dh100-billion ($27.2 billion) mark in 2007 alone, according to news reports quoting the Dr Abdullah Al Mosfer, director of the emirate's economic department.
Among the key projects are a planned Dh30 billion Al Salam City project will occupy an area of 721 million sq ft. Being constructed over a 15 year period, it will include homes for 500,000 residents, parks, entertainment centres and a shopping mall.
The Emirates Sunland Group has begun work on its Dh8 billion White Bay project in Umm Al Quwain, a master planned, resort style community with two man made islands, several hotels, a 190 berth marina, a canal and a health centre.
Emaar Properties, meanwhile, has said in media reports that it is on schedule with the developments in its Umm Al Quwain Marina development, estimated at Dh12 billion. The project involves the construction of 6,000 villas, 2,000 townhouses and around 1,200 resort and hotel rooms, while the central 450 metre diameter marina basin will provide berths for more than 600 yachts.
Several other new projects include a Dh60 million cultural centre and a Dh8 million beach park.
Among the hotel majors who are looking to develop hotels in the area is Kempinski (the group’s regional director for the Gulf, Michael Henssler calls it the UAE’s own mini Maldives), Premier Inn.
Meanwhile, the emirate’s government has announced the drafting of an international classification of hotels and hotel apartments, according to media reports. The hotels will be split into five groups depending on structure, services and amenities, while hotel apartments will be divided into normal and deluxe categories.
By Clark Kelly
TTN is the most established trade publication in the Middle East distributed on a controlled circulation basis to members of the travel and tourism industry.
Published monthly by Al Hilal Publishing and Marketing Group, the region’s foremost trade publisher, TTN is aimed at professionals in the industry, from travel agents to airline and hotel personnel.
TTN provides in-depth and extensive coverage of relevant issues in the Middle East and North Africa as well as in other parts of the world. Travel related news, analysis, and new appointments together with information on up-coming exhibitions, marketing and promotional campaigns are presented in an innovative and striking colour tabloid.
Every issue also contains a collation of international and regional news and topical features of interest to readers.