Culture leading tourism diversification plan
Last month’s opening of a new 1,539 room hotel is expected to take
Kerzner International’s Atlantis, The Palm Jumeirah is the first resort to welcome guests to
As the top leisure destination in the Middle East – with competition perhaps only from
No longer just the region’s shopping capital, it is now increasingly finding favour with tourists as a weekend getaway spot and a family holiday venue, as well as drawing visitors for the variety of sporting, gastronomic and entertainment experiences it offers.
On the entertainment front, for instance, this winter season alone will see the city play host to more top artists than ever before, including Sting, Kylie Minogue, Paul Rodgers and Queen, and Maroon 5. Already, big acts such as these serve to bring in tourists from neighbouring countries like
The aim is now to differentiate that tourism market even further, and what Atlantis will do, say experts, is lead the charge on a new wave of theme park style tourist attractions, including Universal Studios, SeaWorld and Legoland. Many of these are at Dubailand, which has been designed to appeal to the widest tourist segments across genders, age groups, world regions and activity preferences and is expected to come on stream in 2012.
The emirate’s tourism planners expect these largely indoor attractions to continue attracting visitors in the sweltering summer months, where thus far temperatures near the 50 degree mark have kept people away.
Such moves are necessary to meet the government’s ambitious goals. Tourism has played an important role in the diversification of
A large part of that number will be families, a market segment that is growing at six per cent annually in the key Gulf source market, but
One new tourism sector drawing new visitors is the cultural segment, with seasons such as Ramadan already finding favour in markets such as
The event is positioned both as a celebration of Arabian traditions and a retail extravaganza, thus offering culture, shopping and entertainment in a broader pick-and-mix menu that is expected to reinforce
Adding to the cultural appeal are such attractions as the New York Metropolitan Opera, which will beam ten operas via high definition transmission technology into the emirate this season to help boost the emirate’s entertainment offering. The event is part of a series of initiatives by the Dubai Event Management Corporation, established by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice president and prime minister of the UAE and ruler of
A $1 billion opera house designed by Zaha Hadid is currently under construction, and is expected to take that remit further, as will collaboration with three top German art museums that will see world class art being displayed in a purpose built Universal Museum of World Art. Both are part of the multibillion Khor Dubai project, that will also be home to 14 theatres, 11 galleries, nine public libraries, 10 museums and more.
By Clark Kelly