Economic Impact: Dubai
Dubai is the largest of the seven emirates in the United Arab Emirates. It is quickly growing into a huge tourist spot and prides itself on having some of the world’s greatest attractions. However, sometimes having the best comes with consequences. Despite the Middle East’s relatively low tourist rate, Dubai had been able to attract many “big spenders,” which has enhanced its economy, but can also take a toll on the people. In her article, “Tourism in Dubai,” Joan Henderson calls the Middle East, “one of the least developed tourism regions in the world” (Henderson, 2006). However, Abdul Basit of the Khaleej Times reports that, “a strong and dynamic tourism sector has placed Dubai among the top 10 most visited cities in the world” (Basit, 2010). So what makes the difference? There are more non-UAE residents in Dubai than there are Arabs, which means most of the emirates money comes from tourists. Of these tourists, the Dubai department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing reports that around two thirds of the visitors are there for leisure, while the remaining third are there on business (Basit, 2010). These are the people spending the money at the shops and buying the expensive properties, while most of the locals are service or construction workers sending money back home. A former American resident of Dubai, Michael Weitzel, notes how tourism actually changes some of the culture of Dubai. For example, during Ramadan all Muslims fast from sun up to sun down, however alcoholic drinks are still available after dark per the tourists. Also, normally everything would be closed on Fridays, which is the Muslim holy day, instead shops stay open and the economy continues to flourish. Dubai gets fewer visitors in the summer due to the extreme heat, so the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) has created a marketing campaign, or “stimulus package,” in order to get families to visit in the summer. Emirate Airlines is offering free...
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