Dubai’s Vision Is To Be World’s “Number One” Tourism Destination

The emirate’s new tourism strategy is aimed at achieving that vision, says senior official.



Dubai’s recently announced tourism strategy targeting family tourism is part of its goal to be number one, according to a senior official.

“Dubai’s vision remains constant – to be number one,” Helal Almarri, director general of Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) told Gulf Business.

“The strategy of achieving this is through organic growth from where we are today. We have amazing hotels, but we should have more. We have amazing beaches and great offerings for families, and we aim to extend that offer not just through an announcement of big projects but also through daily enhancements,” he said.

The emirate announced that it aims to double tourism numbers to 200 million and treble revenues from the sector to Dhs300 billion by 2020. To accommodate the rising number of tourists, the emirate plans to double hotels rooms to 160,000.

“Right now, the tourists are coming. If we don’t build, we’ll have excess demand and we will be in trouble because there will be a lot of disappointed people. We are in a situation where we don’t have a choice but to build,” said Almarri.

However, the new hotels and attractions coming up to cater to this demand will be diversified and will not be focused on only the biggest or tallest.

“HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum wants to be the number one destination when it comes to tourism and what I have heard from him [in terms of strategy] is not focussed on one thing.

“We want to be number one across everything related to tourism. And number one doesn’t necessarily the biggest. If we look today we are the seventh most visited city for international travel in the world.

“The most visited is London. I am not saying that by 2020[we will certainly become the first], but we are working in that direction. As long we keep jumping higher and higher on the list, I am happy,” Almarri added.