United Arab Emirates: How Tourism Shaped Dubai

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Although the Middle East is not typically thought of as a tourist destination, globalization has allowed the United Arab Emirates to grow and prosper as a developing tourist hot spot. One city comes to mind when thinking about the United Arab Emirates, Dubai. The discovery of oil in this emirate allowed for massive infrastructure projects and transportation improvements to attract foreign investors and visitors. This paper examines how the oil-rich city of Dubai is impacted by developing tourism.
Phases of Development
Dubai has undergone four major development phases since its beginning. The first stage occurred during the years of 1900-1955 and was marked by slow growth and limited physical expansion due to constrained economic growth and marginal increase in population. From 1956-1970, Dubai began its second phase of development based on a 1960 master plan created by a British architect. The master plan called for the provision of a road system, zoning of the town into areas for different land uses and the creation of a new town center. In 1966, with the discovery of oil Dubai underwent transformation from an economy based off the pearl industry into a wealthy oil economy. During the third development phase, taking place from 1971-1980, Dubai experienced planned suburban growth with the inclusion of major transport developments such as the Shindagha Tunnel. The year of 1980 marks the beginning of Dubai’s current development phase: rapid urban expansion (Pacione, 2005).
Present Urban Development
Dubai transformed from a pre-industrial society to a post-industrial society in just 50 years. A liberal economic approach by the government has attracted many business and visitors with the allure of a low-taxation, business ...

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...bai hosts many other extravagant buildings and places. Dubai is home to the Dubai Cup, which boasts the largest prize money for a horse race. The world’s tallest hotel, the Rotana Rose Tower, is also located here.

Works Cited

Acuto, M. (2010). High-rise Dubai urban entrepreneurialism and the technology of symbolic power. Cities, 27(4), 272-284. Retrieved from
Henderson, J. C. (2006). Tourism in dubai: Overcoming barriers. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF TOURISM RESEARCH, 8, 87-99. doi: 10.1002/jtr.557
Pacione, M. (2005). Dubai. Cities, 22(3), 255-265. doi:
Stephenson, M. L., & Ali-Knight, J. (2010). Dubai's tourism industry and. Journal of Tourism and Cultural Change, 8(4), 278-292. doi: 10.1080/14766825.2010.521248
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