Wednesday, June 18, 2008

UAE/Gulf Will Be World's Number One Tourist And Entertainment Destination!

The Middle East has already become the world leader in Global Tourism! This region surged ahead 13% in '07 with a total of 46 million arrivals! This is the largest percentage gain of anywhere in the world...even larger than Asia which increased by 10%! We could see even greater numbers by the end of 2008. The major reason we are seeing so many tourists flock to the Middle East is because of the rapid expansion of The UAE/Gulf Region and all of the incredible and unique Mega Projects being built there.

What really excites me about all of this is that most of the spectacular UAE/Gulf Mega Entertainment & Leisure Projects are not even complete yet. Imagine how huge tourism will be when Mega Projects like these are finally complete and fully operational:

> Dubailand
> Bawadi
> Universal Studios Dubailand
> Six Flags Dubailand
> Marvel Theme Park
> DreamWorks
> Meydan Racecourse
> Dubai Sports City
> MGM Grand Abu Dhabi
> Ferrari Theme Park / Yas Island
> Warner Brothers Theme Park, Abu Dhabi
> The Louvre / Saadiyat Island
> Guggenheim Museum / Saadiyat Island
> PKN Princess Resort, Ajman
> SEGA / Emaar Theme Parks

...and don't forget about these World Icons that will - and in many cases already are - attracting huge numbers of tourists:

- Burj Dubai
- Palm Jumeirah
- World Islands
- Palm Jebel Ali
- Palm Deira
- Al Burj
- Burj Al Alam
- Dubai Towers at The Lagoons
- Burj Al Arab
- Emirates Palace

Over $1Trillion is being spent in the Middle East on Mega Entertainment & Leisure Projects! According to a 1/20/08 article in ArabianBusiness.com:

'A massive $1Trillion is being invested in leisure projects across the Middle East, part of $3.63Trillion being spent on travel and tourism in the region over the next 12 years, according to a study by think tank Fast Future and Global Futures and Foresight (GFF). The Middle East Leisure Landscape 2020 study, released on Saturday, highlighted the UAE and Saudi Arabia as the main countries driving the surge in investment. GFF said Dubai accounted for $381.4Billion of projects in the region either planned or underway, while its neighboring Emirate Abu Dhabi accounted for $131.3Billion. Saudi Arabia has $184.4Billion worth of projects either planned or underway.'

Taking a closer look at Dubai, we see that by 2010 tourist numbers are expected to hit 10 million, and by 2015 they could reach at least 15 million according to Dubai Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM). Furthermore, DTCM said the number of hotels and hotel apartments was expected to rise to 488 in the next two years, compared to 452 in 2007, with the number of hotel rooms climbing to 64,179 in 2010 from 51,168 last year! Khalid Ahmed bin Sulayem, Director General of DTCM had this to say:

"We are on track to move Dubai up the ladder on the global tourism map, and continue to provide direction to consolidate the Emirate's position as the tourism hub not just of the region but of the world."

No other area in the world even comes close to spending the kind of money on entertainment and leisure projects that the UAE/Gulf is spending. Not China. Not India. Not the USA. The future of world tourism and entertainment is the UAE/Gulf.

UPDATE- 6/19/08:

This morning, the day after I did this post, while I was checking over all the latest UAE news, I see that the United Kingdom's leading event organizer - CMPi - has announced the launch of the 'Middle East Attractions, Amusements, Parks, Leisure and Entertainment International Trade Exhibition (MEAPPLE)' that is scheduled to take place on November 17th and 18th at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC).

MEAPPLE has been launched because of the incredible boom in entertainment and leisure Mega Projects being developed in The Gulf. Chris Fountain, Director of CMPi, stated:

"The region is experiencing one of the great economic booms and MEAPPLE is being launched to enable international companies to develop contacts and deliver business in this key growth market."

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