Heavy investment in tourism infrastructure on the cards

Dubai is steadily gaining a reputation as the ‘place to be’ in the region.

The development of a very diverse, 21st century tourism and leisure infrastructure in specially created environments runs parallel to the significant investment in Dubai’s hotel resort infrastructure both in the city as well as on Dubai’s beach front.  

An enlarged capacity will cater for the rapidly growing number of visitors from Dubai’s global source markets for many years to come.

Bärbel Kirchner, director of the UK and Ireland office of the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) stated: “Dubai is initiating a dramatic series of innovative, new developments to maintain and exceed visitors’ expectations.  With international visitor figures expected to reach 15 million by 2010, extra capacity is vital for securing this forward looking destination’s future.  Billions of pounds worth of investment from both the private and public sectors demonstrate the commitment to the future of this destination.”

Dubailand, announced in October 2003, is the latest initiative worth £3billion.   To accommodate future visitors there will be a number of five star hotels throughout the two billion square feet area.  Dubailand will also have a shopping mall and the project is expected to be completed by late 2006.

Developments taking place in the Arabian Gulf will provide additional beachfront access, significant extra capacity and opportunities for divers.  The Palm, located just off Dubai’s coast, will be the world’s largest man-made islands.  By 2007 the project will support over 60 luxury hotels, 9,000 residential properties as well as water theme parks, shopping malls, health spas and dive sites.

Meanwhile, ‘The World’ will comprise 250 islands strategically positioned to form the shape of the world map. 
In addition, Hydropolis, with 220 suites, will be the world’s first luxury underwater hotel when it is completed in 2006.

In early 2004, adding to the emirate’s four existing world-class 18-hole championship golf courses, will be the landmark Al Badia course at Dubai Festival City.  While at Arabian Ranches, the Jack Nicklaus 18-hole par 72 course will be set in the residential development with equestrian facilities.

Although current passenger throughput capacity at Dubai International Airport has not been fully utilised yet, improved access is further being facilitated.  The airport is undergoing the second phase of its expansion programme.  Including the construction of a third terminal, two concourses and a major upgrade for the existing Terminal 2, the airport will have the capacity to handle 70 million passengers a year by 2006.