Marsa Al Arab – Dubai’s new tourism destination

Recently, Dubai Holding announced a mega hospitality project ‘Marsa Al Arab’, a leisure and luxury destination comprising of two man-made islands, on both sides of Burj Al Arab. The project is estimated to complete by 2020 and will be built at a staggering cost of Dh 6.3 billion. Marsa Al Arab will feature a marine park, 1,700-capacity theatre hosting Cirque du Soleil, pearl museum and expanded version of Wild Wadi Water Park along with string of luxury hotels, resort and villas.

The new tourism project spans across 4 million square feet and will add 2.2km of beach front living, with one island dedicated to family tourism and entertainment while the second island dedicated to commercial, hospitality and retail developments.

Marsa Al Arab Project – Impact on Dubai’s Tourism Sector
The impact of Marsa Al Arab project will be a significant addition to Dubai’s evolving tourism sector, as it will allow the Emirate to elevate its image as an upcoming family tourism destination in the Middle East. Not only will it support Dubai’s vision in hosting Expo 2020 event but will also create new job opportunities in hospitality and tourism sector, strengthen Dubai’s reputation of offering unique tourism offerings.

Dubai – World’s 4th Most Visited Destination & Still Counting
In the times to come, Dubai will further enhance its investment in the hospitality and tourism sector aligned with its preparation for World Expo 2020 as it plans to attract 20 million annual visitors. As part of its preparation, the Dubai plans to add nearly 37,400 new hotel rooms (inclusive of 2,400 new hotel rooms under Marsa Al Arab project) by 2020, bolstering present inventory of 65,000 hotel rooms.

The government of Dubai has planned over 50 large-scale government initiatives to boost its tourism growth. This includes mega tourism attraction projects such as Dubai Canal, IMG Worlds of Adventure and Dubai Parks & Resorts with annual visitors being in tune of 4.5 and 6.7 million respectively.

Dubai Tourism Sector – A Major Avenue to Invest
Driven by ambitious plans, wide scale initiatives and continuously increasing inflow volume, Dubai’s tourism industry will remain one of the key avenues for investment amongst international & regional investors. Large volume of investment is expected into hotels, hotel apartments, resorts, restaurants and travel management ventures. Similar bullishness should prevail in retail ventures, wherein the dynamics are closely linked with tourism business.

Investment Opportunities – Dubai Tourism Sector
The business environment in Dubai and UAE is very conducive for investment as the country offers some of the most affluent consumers in the world along with business friendly regulations and policies. Due to strong economic growth projected, Dubai could be considered as the most lucrative destination for future investments.

Author: RKonnect
The author is the Managing Director of Research Konnection, a Dubai based market research and consulting firm that helps local and international companies to identify emerging business opportunities and successfully expand in the Gulf region. The author can be reached at
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