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Unlocking the world, how dubai is paying the price for letting in tourists.

The skyline of Dubai is pictured in May 2017.

Take a passing glance at Dubai , and you may think life is back to normal. In recent weeks, the bustling city has been a sparkling attraction for tourists, especially from Europe, trying to escape the brutal winter and strict coronavirus lockdowns.

But as tens of thousands of visitors flocked there during its peak year-end season, the virus inevitably caught up with the city despite precautions aimed at limiting its spread. Cases began to rise, nearly quadrupling since November.

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Even as Covid-19 gained a stronger foothold, the images out of Dubai – particularly from the Instagram feeds of influencers or celebrities – painted an image of a wide-open winter sun paradise.

For those back home in countries such as the UK, where most people are being told they cannot travel abroad because of the risk to health, these pictures caused consternation, drawing criticism of those enjoying themselves.

World's busiest air route hit by Covid ban

Furious reaction

Dubai is facing tighter restrictions after a spike in Covid-19 cases. That's Atlantis the Palm in the background.

For Danish tourist Emma Mathilde, who has frequently visited Dubai over the past few months, the backlash wasn’t surprising.

“In Europe, everyone is locked at home, it’s cold and it’s gray,” she says. “Dubai is the only place you can travel to, so everyone is going there. It’s sunny, you can go out to eat, and that’s why people get furious over why they have to stay home when other people are enjoying their lives.”

With a recent UK travel ban effectively cutting off what had in recent weeks become the world’s busiest airplane route, Dubai’s openness is clearly facing external challenges – an issue that’s helped prompt a rethink of Covid-19 measures.

That said, the emirate is determined to keep its tourism-reliant economy in business, and officials are unfazed about the recent bad press, confident that levels of compliance with Covid-19 precautions have so far been in keeping with expectations.

“We approach things in a very measured fashion, but it’s our philosophy that we should work through this pandemic,” Helal Saeed Al Marri, director general of Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, tells CNN .

“If we ask everybody to change their behavior 100%, it’s very unlikely to get full compliance. In our case, we’ve asked people to tweak their behavior, to learn to live in the new normal, and people have embraced that.”

Al Marri said the actions of just a few tourists shouldn’t tarnish Dubai’s reputation.

“If you walk in the street in Dubai, people are wearing masks. If someone isn’t wearing a mask, it won’t be the authorities that tell them to put a mask on, it’ll be a passerby, because that’s the way we’ve learned to live within this Covid era.”

Traveling to Dubai during Covid-19: What you need to know before you go

‘Inevitable’ spike

Dubai was one of the first countries to fully reopen after the first global wave of Covid-19 cases.

Last month, the United Arab Emirates saw cases rise by 80,000 to more than 290,000, with more than 4,000 a day being reported, putting hospitals under strain. Blame for the rise, say some experts, shouldn’t necessarily be placed at the door of tourists.

The city’s population is made up of around 85% expatriates, many of whom either visited home in December or attended local Christmas or New Year gatherings as a substitute for canceled trips back to see their families.

Celia Antony, a medical doctor at Aster Clinics in Sharjah, says that the UAE’s Covid cases were very low in August, then began increasing in September to October, leveling off in November and early December before rising sharply from the end of the year.

The spike, she says, was an inevitable consequence of the movement of residents. Numbers, she adds, have also risen as a result of increased testing.

Ahmed Mohamed Abdelhameed, an internal medicine specialist at the Medcare Women and Children’s Hospital in Dubai, says the spike would have been the same whether or not borders had closed.

“Most countries now suffer from a spike in the number of cases [and] many of them were very restrictive in opening their port of entrance,” he says. “I still believe that the only way to have this situation over is to keep to the infection control measures and to get vaccinated. Closing the doors can only stop people from entering, and not the virus.”

Tourism Authority Director Al Marri says Dubai has always been prepared to respond to the situation on the ground. Notably, Dubai’s lockdown in the early days of the pandemic was one of the world’s first and among its toughest.

During the lockdown, residents could not leave home without prior clearance through an app, for a maximum of three hours and only for medical emergencies, food shopping or essential work.

Dubai's audacious Heart of Europe megaproject nears first stage completion

Stricter penalties

Dubai plans to host the delayed 2020 World Expo later this year.

Al Marri says that pragmatism continues to inform Dubai’s Covid policies, and new measures will be monitored for effectiveness even as they strive to keep the city’s economy moving.

“We shut down when we needed to, and since we’ve opened, we follow the data,” he says. “If we see compliance, we don’t need to tighten. If we don’t see compliance at any part of the economy, we look at this very carefully sector by sector. It’s nothing to do with what anybody else tells us.”

Once a drop in compliance levels was noticed at the beginning of January, directly attributable to a rise in cases, Al Marri says authorities began to clamp down.

As of Tuesday, beach clubs, hotels and malls are limited to 70% capacity and cinemas down to 50%. Bars and pubs have been temporarily shut down, with stricter penalties for rule violators.

This type of reaction according to the threat is something Danish tourist Mathilde says is lacking in Europe.

“I think the (UAE) government is handling it great,” she says. “It’s very different from how we are handling it in Europe where the cases are still high, and the economy is suffering a lot.

“In Dubai, I think it’s just another way of doing it. It’s a balance between listening to humans, taking care of people and taking care of businesses that have to survive during the pandemic.”

It’s a dilemma all too familiar for governments around the world: trying to find a balance between keeping the economy open and keeping people safe.

Let the countdown recommence: Dubai prepares for Expo 2020

Safety before profits

Dubai has one of the world's highest Covid vaccination rates.

Adil Ghazzawi, co-owner of local waterfront club Cove Beach, says Dubai has found that balance.

“I think they (the government) felt that everyone felt the pain in the first lockdown,” he says. “So, the idea now is not to lock down, it’s to be methodical around how we can help venues stay open in a way that’s safe for the visitors.”

Vaccinations are also now a significant part of the equation in the UAE. The country has one of the highest Covid-19 vaccination rates globally – more than four million doses of the vaccine have been administered to a population of 10 million. The government has a plan to vaccinate half its residents by the end of March.

Al Marri says this and other data will govern the tightening of restrictions.

“All of the decisions related to public health are led by a health authority and the scientists sitting inside,” he says. “Whatever they recommend, we work with the private sector to make sure it is implemented in the best possible way.”

For Dubai, 2021 is a big year, both from an economic and tourism perspective. The city is set to host the World Expo in October, after delaying it a year because of the pandemic.

That’s why it is vital that services remain moving. That’s a view shared by some of Dubai’s business owners, such as Ghazzawi.

“It’s a gradual opening up, but it could be a drastic shutdown in a heartbeat based on what’s happening, which I think sends the message that Dubai is safe because they’re not shy to make quick adjustments if need be.”

Mohammed Islam, general manager of Bla Bla beach club, which became Dubai’s biggest venue when it opened last month, says safety has to come before profits while things remain so unstable.

“There are a lot of people [in the industry] pushing too hard, but we need to think of safety as our primary concern as if we abuse the system we’ll get completely shut down,” he says. “Let’s not think of making money but all of us staying together and getting this over with.”

To read this content please select one of the options below:

Please note you do not have access to teaching notes, dubai – a star in the east: a case study in strategic destination branding.

Journal of Place Management and Development

ISSN : 1753-8335

Article publication date: 14 March 2008

Worldwide approximately 200 national economies are competing in the destination market. In 2006, global government and capital expenditure exceeded US$1,480 billion making destination branding an important concept that still remains fragmented and unplanned. Dubai, an emirate of the UAE in the Middle East has been chosen as a case study to explain some elements of successful destination branding. This paper aims to apply a framework developed by Balakrishnan to explain areas of caution when competing in an international market where success is also partially dependent on the macro‐environment.


The framework was developed by reviewing literature on destination, place, corporate, product portfolio and service branding. The framework was tested using case study methodology. Secondary research was primarily used to develop the case.

There is a strong fit with the model suggesting that destinations can use this as a basis for continuity in strategy even as governments change. Based on the analysis and review; a checklist for destination branding strategy was recommended.

Research limitations/implications

Since, this study depends on secondary research there is some limitations as data in this region is not easily available.


Destination branding differs in challenges vis‐à‐vis product and service branding. This paper depicts steps essential for creating a successful branding strategy which can be applied in a real world context to maximize returns for the destination.

Stephens Balakrishnan, M. (2008), "Dubai – a star in the east: A case study in strategic destination branding", Journal of Place Management and Development , Vol. 1 No. 1, pp. 62-91.

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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The World's Most Improbable Green City

A decade ago Dubai had one of the largest ecological footprints of any city in the world. By 2050 it wants to have the smallest. Can it get there?

To plunge headlong into the audacity of Dubai —the sprawling efflorescence of concrete, glass, and steel that has sprung up over the past three decades on the scorched sands of Arabia—you could start by going skiing. Smack in the middle of the flat city, the slope looks like a silver spaceship impaled in the ground floor of the Mall of the Emirates. Inside, you can window-shop at Prada, Dior, and Alexander McQueen before pushing through the glass doors of Ski Dubai . Passing a mural of the Alps, you zip up your parka, pull on your gloves. You begin to marvel then at what air-conditioning can do, when pushed to its limits.

The souvenir T-shirt I bought bears a cartoon of a Celsius thermometer. “I went from +50 to -8,” it said. It didn’t feel quite as cold as minus eight (14°F) on the slope, but the temperature outside can get close to 50 (122°F) in summer. The humidity is stifling then, because of the proximity of the sea. Yet it rarely rains; Dubai gets less than four inches a year. There are no permanent rivers. There is next to no soil suitable for growing crops.

What kind of human settlement makes sense in such a place? For centuries Dubai was a fishing village and trading port, small and poor. Then oil and a wild real estate boom transformed it into a city that sports the world’s tallest building, one of its densest collections of skyscrapers, and its third busiest airport. “From the point of view of sustainability you probably wouldn’t have done it here,” says Janus Rostock , a prominent architect transplanted from Copenhagen.

And yet a sustainable city is precisely what Dubai’s government says it aims to create.

Sustainable? Dubai? When camels fly, you might say. The boom years made the city a poster child for the excess that results when cheap energy meets environmental indifference. Indoor skiing is just a symbol: Dubai burns far more fossil fuel to air-condition its towers of glass. To keep the taps running in all those buildings, it essentially boils hundreds of Olympic pools worth of seawater every day. And to create more beachfront for more luxury hotels and villas, it buried coral reefs under immense artificial islands.

In 2006 the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) declared the United Arab Emirates the country with the largest ecological footprint, per capita , largely because of its carbon emissions. The shoe certainly fit Dubai, the most conspicuous consumer among the seven emirates. In the decade since, the city’s population has doubled, to more than 2.8 million. The number of cars on its roads has more than doubled. A surprising number are Bentleys, Lamborghinis, and other gorgeous gas hogs.

And yet, something else has happened since 2006: Dubai has started to change.

Gleaming driverless metro trains now run the length of the linear city, alongside Sheikh Zayed Road, carrying about as many people, and often faster, as the cars on that clogged 12-lane artery. On Dubai’s southern outskirts, a new housing development has opened—called Sustainable City —that recycles its water and waste and produces more energy than it consumes. Further out in the desert, Dubai is building a giant solar power plant that will soon be producing some of the cheapest and cleanest electricity on Earth.

“The leadership has recognized that the growth of the economy is not sustainable without taking action on emissions,” says Tanzeed Alam, climate director for the Emirates Wildlife Society , WWF’s local partner.

In Dubai, the “leadership” is His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the 67-year-old hereditary emir, aka the Ruler. Sheikh Mohammed took over in 2006. He has decreed that his city will get 75 percent of its energy from clean sources by 2050. He wants it to have the smallest carbon footprint in the world. Many people I met on a recent visit to Dubai, including Rostock and Alam, believe the city might actually pull that off.

And if it can happen here, they say, it can happen anywhere.

Survival Instincts

Two places on Dubai’s 40-mile-long coast frame its astonishing trajectory.

The first is Jebel Ali, home to a busy man-made port as well as an enormous industrial plant belonging to Dubai Electric and Water Authority (DEWA). It produces most of the city’s electricity and drinking water in the same process: Natural gas, mainly from Abu Dhabi and Qatar, is burned to generate electricity, and the leftover heat is used to distill seawater and remove the salt. As Dubai has grown, the plant has kept adding new modules, and it’s now a mile-long line of candy-striped smokestacks and evaporator tanks. It can produce nearly 10 gigawatts of electricity and half a billion gallons of desalinated water a day.

The second place is in what’s left of Old Dubai, on what’s called the Creek — actually a saltwater inlet. One of the few natural harbors on this coast, the Creek is why Dubai exists at all. Beat-up wooden dhows from another century still line up to be loaded with refrigerators and air-conditioners from South Korea, which they will deliver across the Gulf to Iran. Near the mouth of the Creek is the house where Sheikh Mohammed spent his childhood.

The house belonged to his grandfather, who was then the Ruler. (The Al Maktoums have ruled Dubai since 1833.) Though large, it was hardly a palace. It had neither running water nor electricity. Dubai didn’t get electricity, or its first paved road, until 1961. Running water arrived a few years later. Mohammed grew up by lamplight, in a place where water was delivered by donkey cart, in barrels filled at one of the village’s wells.

His father, Rashid, had grown up in the same house. In the 1930s he saw people in Dubai starve; the global depression and the invention of artificial pearls had destroyed the market for pearl diving, which was then Dubai’s main enterprise. It was Rashid who began to modernize—and diversify—Dubai, after he took over as ruler in 1958, and especially after the proceeds of oil began to materialize in the late 1960s. He built roads, schools, an airport, and in 1979, a 39-story World Trade Centre, at the time the tallest building in the Middle East.

“It was built in the middle of nowhere, on the edge of the city,” says Neil Walmsley, a British engineer who has been in Dubai since 2005 and is director of urban planning for Arup , a consulting firm. “It was a vote of confidence. The city responded by growing towards it”—and then well past it. Dubai was not a center of world trade when Rashid built his centre, but it is now. When he dug a giant new port at Jebel Ali, having already dredged the Creek, even his sons were baffled by his optimism. Now that port is one of the world’s busiest.

The pearl business hadn’t lasted forever, and Rashid knew he couldn’t count on the oil. Dubai had never had more than a small fraction of what Abu Dhabi had. There’s a saying attributed to Rashid: His father and grandfather rode camels, while he himself drove a Mercedes, and his son, a Land Rover. His grandson would drive a Land Rover too—but his great grandson might ride a camel again.

Unless, that is, the Al Maktoums played their cards right. In Dubai, that’s the first meaning of “sustainability”: finding a way to wring a good living from a hard place, ideally without having to rely on camels again. Worrying about your footprint comes later.

Toward a New Golden Age?

The Burj Al Arab , or Tower of the Arabs, was one of the first of many Dubai landmarks that Sheikh Mohammed commissioned, even before he was Ruler, in the 1990s. It’s a luxury hotel built on an artificial island. As Jim Krane tells the story in Dubai: The Story of the World’s Fastest City , the hotel could have been built on the mainland, but Mohammed and the architect decided it would make a more memorable addition to the skyline if it stood just offshore. And they were right: Shaped like a three-cornered sail rising off the sea, it’s now an icon.

Arab merchants pioneered the use of the three-cornered lateen sail more than a millennium ago. As Sheikh Mohammed tells that story in his own book, My Vision, the new sail helped Arab dhows outdistance their square-sailed competitors. It symbolizes his aspiration for Dubai: to be the first, the best, the smartest, the fastest—to win the race against its global competitors, not just for its own sake but for the whole Arab world. He wants to make Arabs pioneers again, the way they were in the Middle Ages .

Dubai has no income tax or sales tax, and that has long made it attractive to foreigners. But in the early 2000s, it began for the first time to allow them to own property. Waves of cash flooded into Dubai real estate from Russia, from Iran, from the Arab world—from investors anywhere who were looking for a safe haven. Combined with a law that grants each Emirati citizen a plot for his own villa, it led to a surge in development. Four large developers, three of them controlled by the state, were granted great plots of land. Workers streamed in from South Asia to build new skyscrapers for the affluent. They themselves lived in camps that were often squalid, in conditions that some said resembled indentured servitude. ( Read an in-depth report on Dubai’s guest workers .)

The city exploded down the coast. The Dubai Marina , a dense forest of more than a hundred 40-story apartment buildings, sprung up out of nothing, to be inhabited only by expats, some of them for only part of the year. The city also pushed inland into the desert, with new villa developments for Emiratis and foreigners.

“When you look at how Dubai has been growing, it’s just been this obsession with building outward into the desert,” says Yasser Elsheshtawy , an Egyptian architect who has taught at the university in Al Ain for 20 years. “There were no limitations. Energy was cheap. You had cars. So why not?”

The more compelling question is why Dubai would ever change. What could prompt a Ruler with a deep drive for economic growth—who had ordered up not only a sail-shaped tower but also a skyscraper as tall as the Sears Tower with the Eiffel on top, and not only three palm-shaped artificial peninsulas jutting miles into the sea but also an archipelago of 300 islands shaped like countries and arranged in a map of the world—to develop an interest in photovoltaic panels, low-flow faucets, and walkable neighborhoods?

Crisis: “The Best Thing To Happen”

In 2008 and 2009, with the global economy on the edge of collapse, tourism plummeted in Dubai. Real estate prices fell 50 percent, oil even more. Dubai had to be bailed out of debt by Abu Dhabi. But it also got a chance to take stock.

“The economic crisis was the best thing that happened to us—a blessing in disguise,” says Habiba al Marashi, founder of the Emirates Environmental Group , an organization that attempts, through education and recycling, to promote environmental responsibility. ““It slowed down the crazy pace of construction.”

As the city drew its breath, three factors combined to pave the way for a new focus on sustainability, says Dubai-based energy consultant Robin Mills. The first was Masdar City , a project launched in neighboring Abu Dhabi in 2006. Billed as the world’s first zero-carbon city and designed by the firm of star British architect Norman Foster , it was intended to be car free—driverless pods would ferry residents around—and to produce all its electricity with solar power.

Though the financial crisis put a crimp in Masdar City’s ambitions too, it's now expanding around its compact urban core, with a new apartment complex nearing completion and plans for 5,000 homes. And the international publicity the project received from the start helped break the resistance to green ideas throughout the UAE. When Masdar began, “it was really tough,” recalls CEO Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi. “People didn’t want to talk about it. They said, ‘It’s too expensive! Who likes it? What’s the need?’”

And yet Dubai, says Mills, was starting to feel a strong need to reduce its dependence on imported natural gas. Just before the financial crisis, when the city was at the peak of its growth, oil and gas prices were soaring. Mills, who had once been a geologist for Shell, was working on energy at Dubai Holding, a major developer in which Sheikh Mohammed holds a majority stake. “One of the issues was how Dubai was going to source the energy to power all these enormous real estate developments,” Mills says.

Meanwhile a new alternative—the third factor—was emerging. Solar power was booming in places like Germany and Spain, and prices were falling fast. In 2012 Mills wrote a report saying that solar power had become cost-competitive in the Middle East, at 12 U.S. cents per kilowatt-hour. By 2015 DEWA signed a contract for 200 megawatts worth of solar panels that would deliver power at 5.6 cents per kilowatt-hour—a world record-low. At that price, it was making a profit on solar.

“For the utility, that was a eureka moment,” says Saeed al Abbar, head of the Emirates Green Building Council . It was founded in 2006, when the boom was at its height.

Endless Sun

By the time I visit the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park at the beginning of February, DEWA has shattered that record: Masdar’s parent company—the largest exporter of renewable energy in the Middle East—has agreed to furnish the next 800 megawatts of power at 2.99 cents a kilowatt-hour . “Solar is clearly by far the cheapest form of electricity,” Mills says.

The site, about 30 miles southeast of the city, was chosen for its insolation, a DEWA engineer says. We climb out of the shade of a transformer building onto its roof to gaze out over the field of solar panels, slanted toward the sun. They already cover well over a square mile and produce 200 megawatts, two percent of DEWA’s total generating capacity, but there’s room for a lot more—a thousand megawatts will be here by 2020, 5,000 megawatts by 2030, DEWA says. And unlike some utilities in the United States, which see solar power as unwelcome competition, it’s also actively encouraging citizens to put solar panels on roofs.

“The solar potential is so great here,” Mills says. “Millions of acres of empty desert, and plenty of roof space. Electricity generation—for me it’s almost ‘problem solved.’”

DEWA, however, is afraid to count on any one solution, however limitless. So by 2030 it plans to get seven percent of its electricity from four nuclear power plants that Abu Dhabi is building; the first is expected to switch on this year. More troubling, DEWA is constructing a plant that will burn coal. It’ll have to be imported, probably from Australia or Indonesia. The electricity will cost 40 percent more than solar power. It makes neither environmental nor economic sense—other than as a hedge against Dubai’s nightmare, an energy shortage that might limit the growth of the city.

Building Greener

After the profligate boom years, Dubai is also attempting to restrain demand for electricity and water. Prices used to be heavily subsidized, but DEWA raised them substantially, and introduced a progressive scale that rises with consumption. Dubai residents now pay roughly as much for electricity as I pay in Washington, D.C., and about 50 percent more for water—unless they happen to belong to the 10 percent of the population who are citizens of the UAE. Citizens pay less.

New buildings in Dubai aren’t built as if energy and water are limitless, says Al Abbar. Old buildings from before the boom weren’t either: Sheikh Mohammed’s boyhood home featured thick walls, small windows, and wind towers that caught the breeze and funneled it into the shaded courtyard where he played ball. Even the World Trade Centre had deep-set windows and white walls to reflect the heat. But if you stand on its 31 st floor today, in the offices of Sheikh Mohammed’s educational foundation, you look out over a city of glass towers.

“There is an expectation from the tenants—they want to see floor-to-ceiling glass,” Al Abbar says. Developers can’t necessarily fight their clients’ desire for spectacular views, he adds; an unoccupied building is an unsustainable one.

Since the economic crisis, Dubai has tightened its green building regulations, as part of a strategy to reduce energy demand by 30 percent. New buildings must have solar water heaters, as well as operational systems that lower lights and thermostats when people are absent. To reach the city’s goal of retrofitting 30,000 older buildings, regulations allow third-party contractors to renovate buildings and take their profits from a portion of the energy savings. “What I’ve seen is a huge change,” Al Abbar says.

The city government is not just imposing rules on building owners, says the municipality’s director general, Hussain Nasser Lootah, an engineer by training. It’s also collaborating with manufacturers on rolling out efficient products for the Dubai market. Philips is making a one-watt LED bulb that will soon be in buildings across the city, Lootah says. And a new Scandinavian low-flow faucet will be installed in all the local mosques this year, inshallah . Observant Muslims practice ritual ablutions before prayer five times a day, washing face, hands, and feet. “They use too much water!” Lootah says. The new faucet delivers 40 percent of the water with 100 percent of the noise, reassuring the faithful that they’re being adequately cleansed.

Faris Saeed, developer of the Sustainable City, which stands (for now) on the edge of the sprawling and less sustainable one, traces the origin of his own project to the financial crisis. A Jordanian engineer who has lived in the UAE since 1995, Saeed runs Diamond Developers. At the height of the boom, he built six towers containing 1,300 apartments in the Dubai Marina. Those days are gone now. “We took a decision as a company that we could never go back to business as usual,” he says.

Saeed’s new development, which will eventually include a school, hotel, an “innovation center,” and a riding stable, currently consists of 500 villas on a compact 114-acre site. The L-shaped houses stand close together on narrow, verdant streets, facing north, such that they shade each other—sun falls onto the windowed facades only in the early morning and late afternoon.

That simple design choice, Saeed says, allows the air-conditioning units to be 40 percent smaller. Extra insulation, reflective windows and paint, and LED lights further cut energy consumption to around half what would be expected for a 3,000 to 4,000 square foot villa in Dubai. “It’s a myth that sustainable has to be more expensive,” Saeed says.

The Sustainable City produces more electricity than it consumes, thanks to solar panels that shade roof terraces and parking lots. Each roof also has a solar water heater. All waste is recycled—the organic stuff is composted and used in a series of dome-shaped greenhouses that occupy a “farm” at the center of the development. “We’re self-sufficient in herbs,” a public relations person says. For other food, residents can walk to the grocery store, just off a central plaza that will be lined with restaurants. On summer evenings they can sit and watch their children play in small squares cooled by wind towers , like the ones at Sheikh Mohammed’s boyhood home, but augmented by fans.

For this sustainable idyll, Saeed says, residents will pay no more than they would at one of the other developments nearby. He’ll even throw in a $10,000 subsidy for an electric car, which leads to the one apparent flaw of Sustainable City: It’s a longish drive from any of the multiple centers of Dubai.

The Curse of the Grandchildren

On a wall in Lootah’s office, a framed series of aerial pictures shows how Dubai has evolved since 1935, when it was an impoverished fishing village huddled around the Creek. At the center is a visualization of the future: It shows a coast even more clogged with artificial islands and peninsulas than it is today. This city has no intention of slowing down. It lives off its expanding footprint: Nearly a quarter of the population works in construction.

Less than a decade ago, tanker trucks were pulling up to modern apartment buildings to pick up sewage, some of which was dumped illegally in the desert. Now nearly all parts of the city—all but the industrial areas and the labor camps, Lootah says—are connected by pipes to two modern sewage treatment plants. A third plant is about to open, and Lootah expects to build several more to keep up with growth. Dubai sees its population doubling, to more than 5 million, by 2030.

“When I was in the States,” Lootah says—in the late 1970s he studied in Pittsburgh, and after that proved too cold, Arizona—“people asked where you come from. ‘Emirates? Where is this? Where is Dubai?’ Now, you ask anybody: They say they love to come to Dubai!”

Lootah credits the Ruler with putting the city on the map. A large portrait of Sheikh Mohammed hangs behind Lootah’s desk, as it does in most Dubai offices. A two-story-high portrait hangs on the façade of the municipality building, alongside that of the Emir of Abu Dhabi, who is president of the UAE. (Sheikh Mohammed is vice president.)

All over Dubai, from Emiratis and expats alike, I heard testimonials to the decisive leadership of Sheikh Mohammed. “We don’t have a lot of formalities,” Lootah says. “Here projects take days to be done, elsewhere years.” It’s not just the lack of red tape that speeds things up—it’s the lack of democratic institutions. Without a free press, political parties, or free elections, there’s little chance of public opposition to projects endorsed by the Ruler.

Planners of Washington, D.C.’s Metro system started sketching a Silver Line to Dulles Airport in the late 1960s; it’s still not finished. Dubai’s Red Line, of comparable length, was planned and built in less than a decade, and its first stretch opened in 2009, at the height of the financial crisis. Even sustainability mavens, aware of how much needs to change, find a lot to cheer in the can-do spirit that trickles down from the Ruler.

“This country has developed so quickly,” says Tanzeed Alam of WWF. “It can change quickly too—because the leadership gets behind it.”

“As long as they’re making decisions that are good and make sense,” the lack of democracy “is not that big an issue,” says Janus Rostock, chief architect in the Dubai office of Atkins, the firm that designed the Metro, the Burj Al Arab, and most recently, the Dubai Opera , which is shaped like a dhow and opened last year.

Between 2011 and 2016, while the population of Dubai grew by 35 percent, water and electricity consumption grew a bit slower—in other words, per capita consumption is falling, a sign that city efforts are bearing fruit. Per capita carbon emissions have fallen dramatically since the UAE’s world-champion days, according to Dubai Carbon , a government think tank. They’re now comparable to those of the United States, at less than 18 tons per year. “Dubai is pursuing carbon-neutral growth,” says Ivano Iannelli, who heads Dubai Carbon. “The idea is not to increase emissions” as the population grows. But for the foreseeable future, total emissions will keep rising.

Dubai residents may emit no more carbon than average Americans, but they emit nearly three times as much as the average residents of New York City. That’s in part because of Dubai’s legacy of heedless expansion—it’s a sprawling, car-centered city built to be taken in at 75 miles per hour, Rostock says.

He and others are trying to change that. Rostock has led an effort to transform the area around the Burj Khalifa (“a fortress,” he says) and the new opera into a district of ground-floor shops and restaurants that invites people to stroll. And near the Mall of the Emirates, Sheikh Mohammed’s own Dubai Holding has master-planned a mile-long development, called Jumeirah Central, where hundreds of apartment and office buildings are to be laid out on small, walkable blocks. They’ll be linked by trams and gondolas to the Mall and its Metro stop.

Hereditary rulers, it’s sometimes said, can take a longer view than democratically elected ones. Habiba al Marashi tells me about another saying attributed to Sheik Rashid: Humans need to live in harmony with nature, she says, paraphrasing the father of modern Dubai, “so we have the blessings of our grandchildren and avoid being cursed by future generations.”

But Rashid also didn’t want his descendants to have to ride camels again, and if Dubai succeeds in its current shift toward sustainability, it will be for reasons of hard-headed economics. Dubai is pivoting now, says Rostock, because it has to—because it’s competing with other global cities for business and people, and sustainability is in.

“What we have is a willingness and a push to change Dubai and how it’s perceived by the world,” Rostock says. “Dubai is unique in its dependence on the surrounding world. Dubai doesn’t have the oil. It has to be attractive to two billion people within a four-hour flight.”

People in Glass Houses

On my last evening in Dubai, I finally went skiing. It’s a peculiar experience: You’re in a giant fishbowl, being watched through tall windows by people in the mall. But it’s real skiing, with real snow. As my legs fell into the familiar rhythm, I felt the old familiar pleasure. In a former life, I had spent many winter holidays in the French Alps, and this reminded me of the bunny slopes where my children had learned to ski. To be sure, the only Alps here were painted ones—but there were plenty of real and happy children, playing in the snow and cutting in front of me in the lift line. They seemed blissfully unaware of the unsustainability of their activity, though I admit I didn’t ask.

Once we’ve converted to solar energy, we won’t have to worry about carbon emissions from air conditioning, even on ski slopes. Dubai and the UAE could easily pioneer that transition. By the time the whole world makes it, however, it may get very hot along the Persian Gulf. In Dubai at the height of summer, people already go outside as little as possible. By 2100, according to one recent study, there may be days so hot and humid that going outside could kill you.

Water may become a choke point even sooner. At the National Center of Meteorology & Seismology in Abu Dhabi, meteorologists monitor every cloud that passes over the UAE; if a cloud looks promising, the pilot of one of six planes on standby 24/7 is guided to the right spot to seed it with salt crystals . Researchers say they can tease a few extra millimeters of rain out the atmosphere each year, which helps a bit to recharge the country’s depleted and polluted aquifers.

But those are drops in the bucket; Dubai will always depend on desalination for its drinking water. The problem is not so much the tremendous energy it takes—that will eventually come from the sun—but the hot brine that’s left over and discharged into the Gulf. A shallow, almost closed sea, the Gulf is already 20 percent saltier than the ocean, and it’s getting saltier: In addition to the hypersaline brine pouring into it, dams in Turkey and Iraq are diverting fresh water and climate change is increasing evaporation. In time the Gulf could become too salty to desalinate economically or to support much in the way of marine life. “We still feel we can cope,” says Lootah. With technology, “everything is possible.”

Should this city even be here? I put the question to Tanzeed Alam. We’re sitting in the Sustainable City—where the Emirates Wildlife Society is about to move into new offices “to walk the walk,” he says—but I’m asking about Dubai.

“That’s the wrong question,” Alam says. “It’s more about accepting where we are today, and how do we make that better. It’s a question of the right to develop, and of human beings’ right for a better future. How do we make cities better?”

At Ski Dubai, I don’t stop at the wooden chalet in the middle of the slope, where you can sip hot chocolate in front of an open fire. I’m in a hurry to get on my 14-hour flight back to Washington, where the traffic is among the worst in the U.S.; where the Metro system is on the edge of collapse; where, because of my apartment’s antique heating system, I must leave the windows open in winter to keep the temperature inside below 80 degrees; and where the new administration has promised to dismantle government efforts to address climate change.

As I drive to the airport, a light, tentative rain begins to spatter the taxi’s windshield. I take it as a hopeful sign.

This article is part of our Urban Expeditions series, an initiative made possible by a grant from United Technologies to the National Geographic Society.

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Dubai Tourism is the principal authority for the planning, supervision, development and marketing of Dubai’s tourism sector. They market and promote the emirate’s commerce sector and have the goal to reach 23-25 million visitors per year by 2025. The most important goal in this campaign was to increase search volumes for holidays from the UK to Dubai, and increase actual bookings from the UK for those holidays.

dubai tourism case study

The Strategy:

MAG’s target audience was aspirational 25-45 year olds, those who had been waiting for the opportunity to book a holiday, and those who could do so on impulse. The incredible creative for this campaign starring Jessica Alba and Zac Efron was a film spoof, in which the American actors show off Dubai’s tourist hotspots, in the guise of the action film genre. 

In order to reach our audience, MAG:

Showcased the creative across Digital Out of Home & TV, capitalising on the strength of those formats to reach our target audience en masse across the UK. This first part of the campaign began just as travel restrictions to Dubai relaxed, and a holiday to Dubai was once again an option.

Showcased the creative in cinemas. It delivered the creative in its optimum environment (which was even more fitting considering the creative is a spoof action film), whilst taking advantage of the increase in cinema goers and connecting to the hype around the newest James Bond, and films alike.

dubai tourism case study

The Results:

Online travel agency skyscanner said it saw a +133% spike in traffic for searches to dubai during the time the campaign was live..


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The following are selected transactions of Blanco Company. Blanco prepares financial statements quarterly.

Jan. 2 Purchased merchandise on account from Nunez Company, $ 30 , 000 \$ 30,000 $30 , 000 , terms 2 / 10 , n / 30 2 / 10, n / 30 2/10 , n /30 . (Blanco uses the perpetual inventory system.)

Feb. 1 Issued a 9%, 2-month, $ 30 , 000 \$ 30,000 $30 , 000 note to Nunez in payment of account.

Mar. 31 Accrued interest for 2 months on Nunez note.

Apr. 1 Paid face value and interest on Nunez note.

July 1 Purchased equipment from Marson Equipment paying $ 11 , 000 \$ 11,000 $11 , 000 in cash and signing a 10 % , 3 10 \%, 3 10% , 3 -month, $ 60 , 000 \$ 60,000 $60 , 000 note.

Sept. 30 Accrued interest for 3 months on Marson note.

Oct. 1 Paid face value and interest on Marson note.

Dec. 1 Borrowed $ 24 , 000 \$ 24,000 $24 , 000 from the Paola Bank by issuing a 3-month, 8 % 8 \% 8% note with a face value of $ 24 , 000 \$ 24,000 $24 , 000 .

Dec. 31 Recognized interest expense for 1 month on Paola Bank note.

Instructions (d) What is total interest expense for the year?

Assume that people living near a particular high-voltage power line have a higher incidence of cancer than people living farther from the power line. Can you conclude that the high-voltage power line is the cause of the elevated cancer rate? If not, what other explanations might there be for it? What other types of research would you like to see before you conclude that high-voltage power lines cause cancer?

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Time value and discount rates You just won a lottery that promises to pay you $ 1 , 000 , 000 \$ 1,000,000 $1 , 000 , 000 exactly 10 years from today. Because the $ 1 , 000 , 000 \$ 1,000,000 $1 , 000 , 000 payment is guaranteed by the state in which you live, opportunities exist to sell the claim today for an immediate single cash payment.

c. On the basis of your findings in parts a \mathbf{a} a and b \mathbf{b} b , discuss the effect of both the size of the rate of return and the time until receipt of payment on the present value of a future sum.

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Dubai Tourism Case Study

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Unsustainable tourism approaches in touristic destinations: a case study in turkey.

dubai tourism case study

1. Introduction

2. literature review, 2.1. unplanned urbanization, 2.2. image and sound pollution, 2.3. exterminate and non-recyclable waste, 2.4. overtourism.

3. Methodology

3.1. study area, 3.2. method and analysis, 4. findings and results, 4.1. data on unplanned urbanization, 4.2. data on image and sound pollution, 4.3. data on exterminate and non-recyclable waste, 4.4. data on overtourism, 5. discussion, 6. conclusions, institutional review board statement, informed consent statement, data availability statement, conflicts of interest.

Share and Cite

Barakazı, M. Unsustainable Tourism Approaches in Touristic Destinations: A Case Study in Turkey. Sustainability 2023 , 15 , 4744.

Barakazı M. Unsustainable Tourism Approaches in Touristic Destinations: A Case Study in Turkey. Sustainability . 2023; 15(6):4744.

Barakazı, Mahmut. 2023. "Unsustainable Tourism Approaches in Touristic Destinations: A Case Study in Turkey" Sustainability 15, no. 6: 4744.

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Where are people going on holiday this 2023 so far

Tourism numbers spiking in most places, these destinations have done exceptionally well

Tourism is back — and it’s back with a vengeance. The visitor numbers are spiking everywhere, but certain destinations have done exceptionally well. This year may be known as the year when tourism figures will most probably eclipse the previous, pre-pandemic highs.

Three months out into 2023, certain destinations are reporting record jumps in visitor data, overshooting previous travel numbers — with countries like Thailand getting as high as 1,500 per cent jump in tourism arrivals.

Revenge travel

Thanks to what is generally known as “revenge travel” — the phenomenon of people booking trips and going on vacation as a means to 'take revenge' against the pandemic — tourists by the millions are out to make up for the lost time by taking that much-awaited trip, or treat oneself after a long period of fear and uncertainty.

These are the top destinations seeing a big surge in travel numbers:


Armenia is listed by Forbes as one of the top travel destinations in 2023, not least due to the attraction of the Caucasus Mountains and Lake Sevan, as well as several historic architectural treasures, such as the Temple of Garni and the Monastery of Haghpat, both of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Those who prefer hiking, the 861 kilometers (535 miles) of the Transcaucasian Trail that runs across Armenia provide unmatched opportunities.

Of late, tourism numbers had been up: 159,475 foreign tourists visited Armenia in January 2023, up 69 per cent from 94,339 who visited the country in January 2022, the Armenian Tourism Committee reported.

The country is also well known for its delectable food — such as the “khash” thick soup, “manti” baked dumplings, and, of course, homemade pickles with every meal. Armenia is a key destination for weekend wanderers and visitors from the UAE.

Tbilisi, Georgia

In 2022, inbound tourism numbers in Georgia already reached pre-pandemic levels. And the numbers are bound to increase, thanks to increased tourism promotion drive by the Tbilisi government.

From 7-9 March 2023, Georgia will be the official guest country at the world’s largest tourism trade fair, ITB, in Berlin, Germany. The event will be help Georgia further promote tourism, including for investment in its tourism sector. Georgia is a popular destination for tourists from the UAE.


From 1 March 2023, masks are no longer required both indoors and outdoors, including on public transport. Even before this full relaxation of travel curbs, January tourist arrivals has already soar 70 times year-on-year vs December's 16 times growth, according to a Reuters report.

Jewellery and watch sales were also up 23.1 per cent year vs December 4.9 per cent fall. And the government sees rebound of visitor numbers to support retail January retail sales grew 7% from a year earlier in value terms to stand at HK$36.2 billion ($4.61 billion). That compared with HK$33.7 billion in December.

Thailand, South-east Asia


Due in part to the busy travel season and China's reopening, 2.14 million foreign travelers arrived in Thailand in January alone. According to information from the Thai Ministry of Tourism and Sports issued on February 28, arrivals increased by more than 1,500 per cent in January compared to the same month last year.

The rest of Southeast Asia mirrors Thailand. China’s reopening continues to help Asean. One result: Asia’s tourism and consumer stocks climbed on expectations that more Chinese may travel as pandemic-related restrictions lift, Bloomberg reported.

Another result: Hotel rates are at an “all-time high,” Alan Watts, Hilton’s Asia-Pacific president, told CNBC. Rates are being fueled by travel demand that is like “a feast … to offset the famine,” he said, referencing the pandemic.

Average daily rates have increased by 8% in the fourth quarter of 2022, for Hilton, compared with the same period in 2019. Similarly, Marriott and IHG hiked prices by 13%, while Hyatt had a 14% daily rate increase.

Saudi Arabia


Saudi Arabia is targeting to receive 25 million foreign tourists in 2023 as part of efforts to diversify the kingdom’s economy and bolster tourism. The country saw 16.5 million tourists last year, Saudi Minister of Tourism Ahmad Al Khatib said, adding that the kingdom is expected to hold the world’s 17th rank in terms of tourist attraction, an increase of 94 per cent compared to the pre-epidemic time.

The overall tourism spending last year amounted to SR185 billion, a 93 per cent jump from 2021, the official added. The kingdom has already exceeded the 2019 figures to emerge as the leading country in registering record numbers among the Group of 20 (G20) countries. G20, a forum of the world’s largest economies, comprises 19 countries and the European Union.

WLD TOD TOURISM1-1595246689974

The significant rise in travel to Asia is matched by an equally sharp spike in travel to Europe, which has tweaked its travel rules.

For example, a total of 4.1 million international tourists came to Spain in January this year, representing an increase of 65.8 per cent compared to the same month last year, according to data released by the National Institute of Statistics (INE) this week, reported.

In 2022, 71.6 million foreign tourists visited Spain, up 130% compared to 2021, but still 14% less than in the pre-Covid year 2019. But in January 2023, Spain had more foreign tourists in January than three years earlier — just before the pandemic.

In particular, the Balearic islands of Mallorca, Ibiza and Menorca, the previous big-hitters, are back with a vengeance with their year-round sunshine in the Mediterranean Sea. Canary Islands — Tenerife and the lesser-known La Gomera and La Palma — have also seen their tourism industry regaining their vibrancy. Sun-seekers also find their way to beach destinations on the mainland such as the Costa de la Luz and Catalonia.

Copy of 288705-01-02-1594702900665

Kenya's earnings from tourism rose to $2.13 billion in 2022 compared to $1.16 billion in 2021, according to data released by the state-owned Tourism Research Institute (TRI). The country's tourist arrivals in 2022 was 1.48 million, a 70.45 per cent jump as compared to 870,465 arrivals in 2021. The numbers show sustained progress toward pre-pandemic visitor arrivals.

Tourism is one of Kenya's leading dollar earners. The US was the leading source of foreign tourists with 209,360, followed closely by Uganda, Britain, and Tanzania. In February, after three years of pandemic curbs, tourism officials in Nairobi received the first group of 40 Chinese tourists on board a Southern Airlines flight from Guangzhou.


As travelers, especially from neighbouring US and Canada, take advantage of the first “normal” Spring break since the pandemic, Los Cabos in Mexico is now rated as “the next Cancun”.

In 2022, 13 million US tourists visited the neighbouring country. This year, the numbers are expected to go even higher. Unlike Cancun, famous for its luxurious resorts, this twin destination of "The Capes” — which includes both Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo — rose to prominence among travellers, as a much more relaxed alternative that’s yet to be overrun by the hordes of visitors.

The Balkans


Tourism service providers from Moldova, Romania, Montenegro, Serbia, Croatia, Bulgaria, North Macedonia, Kosovo, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Albania are make a big push to increase their share of the post-pandemic tourism market.

The Balkans are undoubtedly one of Europe's last unique destinations — as more people want to visit the region because of its diversity in culture, natural beauty, beaches, and skiing.

Furthermore, the region provides excellent value for money, particularly for non-EU countries, with Albania being one of the most promising locations. Albania offers encouraging results of developing a thriving tourism business.

Albania has strong indicators of a huge tourism spike, with travel magazine Conde Nast seeing almost double the number of bookings in 2022 than it enjoyed in the same period in 2019.

For the Balkans in general, most people have yet to discover it, but flights and tourism infrastructure are in place, and thus there are fewer crowds.

Moreover, Greece and Albania inked a cooperation pact to improve bilateral ties, particularly in the tourism sector. Both countries promised to promote their destinations and boost the number of visitors.



Switzerland has been voted as the safest country in Europe, according to a report published on The study used nine variables connected to destination safety: the number of homicides, assaults, and road deaths, the risk of natural disasters, and the global peace index.

According to, the survey assigned each country a score out of ten for nine key characteristics.

Moreover, the 100% Women Initiative of Switzerland Tourism — for the third year running — aims to provide more opportunities for women in outdoor spots.

2023 has been announced as the year focusing on outdoor activities, such as cycling, hiking and mountaineering to a female audience. On February 25, Xinhua reported that China has already resumed outbound group travel for tourists to 20 countries, including Hungary and Switzerland in Europe.

So far this year, the number of tourists visiting the Maldives has climbed by 25.3% over the same period last year.

As of March 4, 2023, there were 375,283 tourists who landed in the Maldives, Tourism Ministry data shows. This represents a 75,790 increase over the 299,493 tourists who visited the Maldives during the same period previous year.

Official tourism data also show that 172,499 tourists visited the Maldives in January and 177,914 in February. So far in March, 24,870 people have visited the archipelago, known for its clear emerald waters, beautiful beaches that stretch as far as the eye can see, and luxurious overwater bungalows.

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Tourism Business in Dubai - Case Study Example

Tourism Business in Dubai

Extract of sample "Tourism Business in Dubai"

United Arab Emirates (UAE) is an emerging market in the global economy. The country has prevailed from a homogenous and traditional society to a multi-cultural and modern one. Evolution has taken place from the middle of the 20th century to the beginning of the 21st century. The most populated and attractive city in the UAE is Dubai (UAE’s capital) with a population of 1,770,533. Dubai’s economy is largely dependent on tourism as a large number of tourists visit Dubai every month for both business and tourism purposes.

The tourism industry in Dubai brings a lot of opportunities for the country’s development by ensuring the flow of foreign capital into the country (Travel and Tourism, “Tourism Industry of Dubai”).Dubai is undoubtedly the best place for tourist attractions in the UAE. The focus of the research paper is on the scope of the tourism market in Dubai. Resorts are a growing concept in Dubai. Though they are rated at a higher price than that of hotels, they are becoming capable to attract tourists due to the adventurous approach.

For example, the ‘Al Maha Desert Resort’ situated in the middle of the desert with high profile luxury makes the spot very adventurousAt present, there are only 12 resorts in Dubai. Considering the large population and a huge number of tourists visiting every month, the number of resorts is less in comparison to the total number of tourists. The present resorts are rated according to stars and are priced very high. For example, ‘Habbor Grand Resort and Spa’ in Dubai charge approximately USD 120 per night which is quite high (Henderson, “Tourism in Dubai: Overcoming Barriers to Destination Development”)Considering the above tourism scenario in Dubai, a lot of scopes can be derived.

It seems that the major portion of the market is unexplored. The resorts are all targeted towards the elite class of the society with sophisticated luxury and comfort.

CHECK THESE SAMPLES OF Tourism Business in Dubai

Business professionals' perceptions of the future of business tourism in abu dhabi, the tourism industry of dubai, business tourism in abu dhabi, the tourism industry, in dubai and turkey, economics and tourism industry in uae, tourism in dubai, urban tourism, tourism management.

dubai tourism case study

Dubai Case Study

dubai tourism case study

Show More Mariah Norris Edward Joffe Intro to Hospitality 21 November 2016 Doing Business Overseas Recommendation: The hotel chain HomeAway, a brand new state-of-the-art resort, is looking for a new destination. The hotel corporation believes in blending in the city’s culture with the ambiance of the hotel and bringing guests in from all over the world to experience it. HomeAway wants their guests to immerse themselves in a new culture and make it home. To truly live in a destination, not just visit. This concept is hitting home runs all over. The next destination to be is Dubai . Attraction to city: “Dubai’s position as a regional commercial hub supports world-class trade exhibitions and conferences, presenting venues for American firms to reach buyers …show more content… “As a leader of gender equality in economics, government, education and health, the UAE has been named one of the region’s pioneer” (Women in the UAE). There are parts of the Middle East that have huge discrimination problems, however women in Dubai hold government positions. The state legislations in the UAE do not discriminate on the basis of gender with respect to education or employment. Currency Issues: The UAE has a currency known as dirham. Because of the strong international influence in Dubai, there is a common ground with the US dollar. 1 U.S. dollar = 3.6725 dirhams. It is “All banknotes are issued by the UAE Central Bank and are printed in English on one side, and Arabic on the other” (Punnet). Larger shopping malls and dining now accept US dollars and also have money changers. Economic Environment: United States already has an established economic relationship with UAE. “The United States provides Export and Border Security assistance to the UAE” ( United Arab Emirates ). Much of the economic environment comes from their strong foundation of vast oil and gas prosperity. The UAE also acts as the headquarters for international business in the Middle East. The US and the UAE share similar values on international economic growth and are therefore are a key partner for many …show more content… The Atlantis Palm has been a big hit all around the world. However, I think that a desert safari type hotel would be a peaceful change of pace and become the perfect rival for the Atlantis Palm which is located on the peninsula of the city and has a typical beach central focus. The main districts in Dubai are Al Quoz, Jumeirah, The Creek, Downtown Dubai, and the Marina. Al Quoz is where heavy industry sits alongside high art. The Creek is the cultural heart of the city and the place to experience Old Dubai. Downtown Dubai is a stylish and cosmopolitan place to relax and unwind. The Marina is a great place to eat, drink and shop, all at the waters edge. Lastly the Jumeirah is a café culture where Dubai residents spend time. This type of scenery will place focus on the culture of United Arab Emirates. Its not just another beach resort. A competitive advantage over the Atlantis Palm would be the residents in the Jumeirah area sharing their lifestyle with the

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Creating Resilient and Inclusive Communities: A Case Study of the Sustainable City, Dubai

By sadaf ghalib, april 5, 2021.

As an Architect I have always been fascinated and intrigued by the sheer simplicity of design, how it can weave form and function together seamlessly, coexisting with multiple dimensions of complexities. The dynamism of the urban fabric and a quest for creating ‘livable cities’ has certainly challenged designers and master planners alike, especially considering the macro scale of development as well as focus on resilience in the face of impending climate change. With a discernible increase in the occurrence of extreme weather conditions such as intensified heatwaves, droughts, cyclones, and blizzards along with a rise in overall temperatures and irreversible damage to ecosystems, climate change has most certainly revealed how vulnerable the human population actually is.

According to the statistics presented by the United Nations Development Program, in the year 2018, 4.2 billion or 55% of the world’s population was living in cities. With urban population expected to surge to 6.5 billion by 2050, it is evident that a substantial amount of resources shall be required to cater to their basic needs, including infrastructure, energy, clean water, healthy living areas, and optimum recreational spaces. Natural resources are limited and therefore inadequate to accommodate a rising population. This has propelled accelerated urbanization wherein governments are taking action to embrace sustainability as a key aspect in planning future city models.

As cities and communities inch towards attaining the UN Sustainable Development Goals, specifically number 11 to make human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable, the bid to balance the social, economic, and environmental aspects is conspicuous. There are clearly defined targets and indicators within this critical goal, including establishing safe and affordable housing, investing in public transit systems, creating inclusive urban spaces, protecting natural and cultural heritage, minimizing the impacts of natural catastrophes, mitigating the environmental impact caused by cities, and providing access to safe, healthy and green public spaces for all inhabitants. 

Located in Asia at the eastern end of the Arabian Peninsula, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has an arid climate, characterized by very hot, humid summers with temperatures reaching over 50 degrees Celsius for a majority of the year, and annual precipitation below 100mm. While the country is well adapted to these conditions, climate projections reveal the occurrence of extreme conditions that are expected to impose overwhelming stress on the environment with a sharp rise in temperature and humidity levels, prolonged summers, water scarcity, more intense rainfall, rise in sea levels, and an increased likelihood and scale of extreme weather events such as storms. Profoundly responsive to the great extent of damage that climate change could cause, as well as the role which fossil fuel-based economies are playing in exacerbating this threat, UAE has been a front runner in the paradigm shift towards diversifying its economy and encouraging a more sustainable model of development. Several of the country’s key development initiatives are aligned with Vision 2030 which aims to build an innovative, inclusive and resilient economy, focuses on environmental protection whilst embedding sustainability in the core of all businesses. 

To achieve an equilibrium amongst the three pillars of sustainability i.e. social equity, economic viability, and environmental protection, the UAE government is incorporating a holistic approach by investing in developing “smart, sustainable cities” that have less of an impact on the environment through passive design, intelligent utilization of raw materials, energy efficiency, water conservation, locally available food, inclusive public transport options as well as open spaces for all residents. 

Case Study- The Sustainable City, Dubai

A city transformed from a quaint fishing village and trading port to one reliant on oil production and real estate, Dubai is now at the crux of changing the narrative to portray itself as a city with a comparatively lower carbon footprint per capita by the year 2050 (UN Development Report 2003). It is an ambitious goal for a city that relies on automobiles for transportation, food imported from overseas, uses energy-intensive process for desalination, and utilizes extensive air conditioning to cool built structures for a majority of the year, 24*7.

To counter these challenges and pave the way for more eco-friendly construction within the Emirate and the GCC region, Dubai is consolidating efforts towards achieving the objectives outlined within its Plan 2030 by investing in resilient communities. A peculiar example is The Sustainable City is the first operational net zero energy city in wherein the three pillars of sustainability- ‘people, planet and profit’ that are targeted through intelligent planning and design as well as viable implementation methodologies. While social sustainability is achieved through several intra-city amenities, outreach programs, spaces for assembly encouraging community cohesion, environmental sustainability is accomplished through active and passive design strategies, establishing spaces for local produce and economic sustainability is facilitated by focusing on operational efficiencies whilst passing on the monetary savings to residents. 

dubai tourism case study

Fig 1. Master Plan

Residential Clusters

Each residential cluster consists of different typologies of living spaces making them inclusive for all. Solar panels are installed on the rooftops of all the villas to provide energy for use within. Additional PV panels are installed over the shaded carparks which are capable of producing 3MW of energy, sufficient to power street lighting, electric vehicle charging stations, greywater treatment plant as well as the urban farm, thereby helping the City achieve ‘net-zero energy status. 

There is a 30-meter wide tree belt or a buffer zone on the periphery of the City consisting of approximately 2500 trees of an average 10m height, thereby improving the microclimate through purifying the air, creating a comfortable breeze, and minimizing the entry of dust and pollutants whilst also reducing the noise pollution from adjacent areas and roads.

The Sustainable City provides pedestrians adequate spaces for walking, jogging, and cycling thereby supporting and encouraging an active lifestyle with minimal reliance on automobiles. In addition, electric-powered buggies and shuttles are available to make transit within the city convenient, and residents can access all facilities without the need to walk long in the sun or drive themselves.

Urban farming

The residents have access to an urban farm and outdoor permaculture gardens which run the length of the City, promoting the accessibility of open areas and a sense of community. Spread over 3000 square meters, 11 greenhouses are set up within this farm to make conducive environments for growing a variety of fresh produce throughout the year, decreasing reliance on imported food. The ‘green spine’ uses recycled greywater from the villas which are treated in an underground treatment facility within the site.

Apart from promoting local organic produce within the City itself and reducing the emissions from freight, urban farming also reduces wastage arising from long transit hours, improper storage, and spoilage.

Community Facilities

There are several community facilities provided on-site such as an equestrian center, parks and gardens, place of worship, innovation center, mixed-use space, retail outlets, schools, and a visitor center. Such spaces are essential for the social fabric and establish connections as a part of social sustainability.

The UAE is truly pushing the boundaries of innovation to adhere to its commitment to UN’s SDGs by encouraging pilot projects such as the Sustainable City in a bid to attract investment and diversify its economy for the long haul. Having said that, it is imperative that the country captures its energy requirements from natural resources especially solar power, and expedite its switch to renewables. Even with an arid climate, extreme weather conditions, scarcity of water, and energy-intensive buildings; if the UAE can make strides towards transforming into a green oasis – other cities can certainly derive inspiration from this unique yet powerful change.

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dubai tourism case study

Dubai Tourism Case Study

Chapter 1: Introduction Introduction Background Dubai Tourism Dubai is one of the most important cities in the Middle East area. Dubai maintains an enormous level of independence from the United Arab Emirates when it moves toward broad conclusion making the city to expand and grow. The construction industry has a substantial and essential role in the tourism sector of Dubai , it has verified a potential capacity to conquer the challenges faced by the tourism industry and has established itself a power in the industry with a very high growth rate. Thus, this makes Dubai an attractive example of an active and successful Middle East centre for tourism that is creating new and more chances of opportunities and realizing its full prospective. This …show more content…

In this essay, the author

It is modern and very up to date, so it makes sense and has become the background of a well-built visual arts view or sight. Large artworks making strong statements entirely reflected the spirit and the strength of the city. Dubai is maturing from a place of celebration and excess to consideration and self awareness. Kumar, B. assumed in an article that Dubai promotes itself as the commercial and economic focal point of the Gulf region which is obvious from the plans undertaken to develop open trade regions and manufacturing parks. Dubai is seen as a moderately liberal and international society with 80 % emigrant population and can count on as being one of the safest cities in the globe. The Government has a key role in starting and supporting tourism and with respect to the tourism policy of the government; tourism was positioned at the centre of the diversification program beside construction. The pull factors are the tangible things that draw the tourists to the destination. This include improved in the standard of living, availability of services, better health care, quality of education, no social obligations, varied employment opportunities, higher wages and future prospects

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