Dubai has been at the forefront of luxury tourism for so long, it’s hard to imagine what the desert city looked like even just 30 years ago. Its transformation from fishing village to global tourist destination has been monumental — the “seven-star” Burj Al Arab hotel is celebrating 20 years since it opened, signalling the city’s change in focus to the rest of the world.
As the largest and most populous city in the United Arab Emirates, Dubai’s focus on enhancing and expanding its tourist and corporate draw has been at the forefront of the desert emirate’s future planning for decades now. An area rich with natural resources, sustaining the region’s wealth in the long term must come through other, sustainable means. Hence the boom in construction over the years, with a particular focus on huge or ultra-modern structures to entice curious travellers and ambitious business people alike for years to come.
Tourism has been the key factor in Dubai’s growth. After so many years of investment, the beauty of Dubai as a holiday destination has much to do with the sheer range of activities you can take part in while visiting. Despite the city being in a desert region, you can visit a ski resort, sail along a creek that borders a bird sanctuary and ride roller coasters with the family. And Dubai is on the coast — that coastline has been added to in the most unique of ways with the world famous Palm Islands.
It’s no surprise that Dubai family holiday deals have remained sought after throughout the last few decades. But, not known for resting on its laurels, Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing has recently developed a new way of better delivering authentic and exclusive experiences for tourists. The overall tourism strategy, publicised in early January, aims to make Dubai the most visited city in the world, with a figure of 25 million annual visitors as its claimed target by the year 2025.
In an attempt to make every trip to Dubai unforgettable, Dubai Tourism has launched a new online business-to-business platform to allow Dubai tourist attractions to work more closely with one another. This will result in more tailored packages for holidaymakers. The platform connects industry players like museums, hotels, water parks, golf resorts, country clubs and others, and will make Dubai holidays more customisable at the point of booking.
In practice, this means that if you and your family are looking to fly to Dubai for the two-week Easter school break, for instance, your options for activities will be presented in a more joined-up way when booking through tour providers. If, on the other hand, you’re a golf aficionado seeking a winter golf trip when the weather’s too grim back home for a round or two, you’ll find your options greatly enhanced also. The idea here is to make it easier for visitors to book a complete package of activities to make their stay in the desert emirate easier and more enjoyable, no matter what their holidaying preferences.
The “Attractions Marketplace”, as it has been called, is set to further boost an already booming tourism industry in this part of the Middle East. We could see a new type of holiday package deal, with every tourist group able to modify and change every aspect of each day’s stay. It would be no real shock if the next generation of package holiday begins its life in Dubai given the city’s propensity to push the boundaries of luxury travel.
We’ve written a complete guide to Dubai, showcasing the unique mix of old and new that the city has to offer visitors. From being pampered at a luxury spa, through to some of the best high-end shopping that the world has to offer at one of Dubai’s enormous malls, Dubai is a playground for those that enjoy the finer things in life. There’s no sign of Dubai letting up in its attempts to be the undisputed number-one tourist destination for travellers around the world.
Have you visited Dubai? What attractions stand out as the most important? How would you tailor your perfect holiday?