This chapter includes the following articles.
Since 2008 Dubai’s tourism sector has once again become a major economic contributor, following a downturn in the global economic crisis. In 2011 the industry attracted more than 9.3m tourists – up about 10% from the previous year – and contributed some 31% of the emirate’s total GDP. In the last couple of years political upheaval in the region has seen visitor numbers to popular tourist destinations in Egypt and Tunisia fall, with tourists instead favouring more stable destinations such as Dubai. Moreover, key segments such as local malls and other retail destinations have performed well, seeing an estimated 10% jump in spending. Indeed, shoppers from outside the UAE accounted for nearly 40% of the revenues local retailers brought in during the 2011 Dubai Shopping Festival. While challenges remain – including increasing competition from a number of other cities and countries in the region – if Dubai can maintain its current momentum, the emirate is well positioned to continue its reign as one of the world’s most popular and profitable tourism destinations for years to come. This chapter includes interviews with Helal Almarri, CEO, Dubai World Trade Centre; and Gerald Lawless, President and Group CEO, Jumeirah Group.