Looking at it now, you would have never guessed that just 25 years ago, Dubai was a small sleepy fishing village on the edge of the desert. But the landscape has changed dramatically since 1990. Skyscrapers reached to the clouds almost overnight and Dubai tourism grew exponentially while gaining its reputation as the playground to the rich and famous.
This major growth spurt was the brainchild of Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai from 1990 – 2006. It was his vision to make Dubai the number one tourist and financial centre in the Middle East and one of the top in the world. This vision began to take form in 1994 when the city broke ground for the construction of the Burj al Arab, an iconic structure that graces the shores of Jumeirah Beach. In the shape of the sail of a local traditional trade ship known as a “Dhow”, it has become synonymous with city it calls home. When its doors opened in December 1999, it quickly earned its elite notoriety as the world’s only 7-star hotel.
Soon after, innovative plans were underway to develop the Palm Jumeirah. Referred to as the 8th Wonder of the World, the Palm Jumeirah is a man-made island in the shape of a palm tree. It was completed by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, continuing the vision his eldest brother had set for the Emirate. And at the crest of the Palm is the Atlantis – The Palm Hotel and Resort with its popular waterpark, AquaVenture, home to the “Leap of Faith”, a 61-metre, vertical drop waterslide, and Dolphin Bay where guests can interact with these gentle creatures.
Dubai tourism grew fast and furious with shopping malls abound. With over 70 malls to choose from, Dubai has become a shopper’s paradise, each mall offering a bit of something unique in and of itself. The Dubai Mall is the world’s largest, and offers over 1200 shops and over 12 different entertainment venues.
The Emirate has been very careful in crafting tourism in Dubai, especially in the summer months, with such things as Dubai Summer Surprises where discounts of up to 70% off merchandise, as well as drawings and major giveaways of jewelry, cars, and vacation holidays to other exotic locales attract visitors.
The economic downturn of 2009 slowed Dubai tourism and it growth but only temporarily. In January 2010, Dubai began its recovery by celebrating the grand opening of the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa. Standing over 828 metres high, it offers the most breathtaking views of the city from its 124 th floor observatory deck, known as “At the Top”. At its base, visitors can experience the graceful dancing waters of the Dubai Fountain, one of the most popular Dubai tourism spots where people gather to watch the show on the hour.
But This is Just the Beginning as the City Continues to Build and Maintain Tourism in Dubai
Dubai is not the type of town that is satisfied with what it already has. Sheikh Mohammad is always looking for ways to ensure that Dubai maintains its edge as a leader in tourism. With plans to build more malls, including one even larger than the Dubai Mall, and such attractions as the Dubai Eye, the world’s largest ferris-wheel, Dubai is constantly recreating itself, making the city fresh for new visitors with each passing year.
In addition, Dubai is continually adding new hotels and resorts to its long list of world-class accommodations, and with plans to double tourism in Dubai by 2020 it is focusing on adding a number of mid-range and economy hotels to attract the more budget-minded tourist.
With all that this amazing city has to offer, it is no wonder why Dubai tourism has grown so exponentially in the past two decades. If you would like more information on Dubai’s top attractions, or would like assistance in booking your Dubai accommodations for the lowest rates available in the market feel free to visit us at www.dubaishortstay.net where you can speak to a representative 24/7 via Live Chat or by phone at 971 4 421 4988.