For many commentators, Dubai’s reputation of being a desirable tourist destination has been the result of a well-executed strategic economic plan, brought about by a forward-thinking and ambitious approach to deliver a diversified economy. Moreover, this economic stratagem has made Dubai a global gateway for foreign trade and industry, which is a major contribution to stable economic growth. The UAE – United Arab Emirates – has surely captured the world’s attention by welcoming international travellers, and engaging them with the warmth of the Arabian culture, as well as showcasing the best forms of family entertainment to be found.


In 2010, Vision 2021 was launched by the federal government, with the aim of making the UAE among the best countries in the world in time for its Golden Jubilee. The success of the initiative hinges on four pillars:

  • United in Responsibility: An ambitious and confident nation grounded in its heritage.
  • United in Destiny: A strong union bond by a common destiny.
  • United in Knowledge: A competitive economy driven by knowledgeable and innovative Emiratis.
  • United in Prosperity: A nurturing and sustainable environment for quality living.

As a result, tourism seems to be nicely poised for significant growth as the country readies itself for the 2020 Expo, which is expected to attract 25 million international visitors and exhibitors from 180 nations. Although the UAE is still heavily dependent on the oil industry, tourism is seen as an area for development with predictions that it will make up around 12% of the UAE’s GDP by 2020. Despite restricted governmental budgets, Dubai has been able to have an expansive economic outlook with particular focus on hotel building programmes. As the luxury hotel complexes and resorts market reaches saturation point, the construction emphasis is moving toward smaller scale operations that will offer a competitively priced option. This is expected to bring in a new wave of international tourist interest, and expand on the already growing number of residents choosing to explore the Emirates rather than travel away.


To better understand Dubai’s contribution to tourism, take a brief look at the 2015 Dubai strategic plan, which prioritised 5 main strategic areas:

  • Economic Development.
  • Social Development.
  • Security, Justice and Safety.
  • Infrastructure, Land and Environment.
  • Government Excellence.

The vision then was ambitious with long term growth in mind, and is the basis for Dubai’s development. Whilst at the time, tourism didn’t feature in the 5-point list of strategic areas, it’s easy to see how it became a major part of the economic development so far.

Interestingly, the Dubai Plan 2021 is a contemporary and evolutionary initiative that takes holistic and complementary perspectives from the people and society that are considered to be the bedrock of the city. The plan addresses 6 themes:

  • The People. “City of Happy, Creative & Empowered people”
  • The Society. “An Inclusive & Cohesive Society”
  • The Experience. “The Preferred Place to Live, Work & visit”
  • The Place. ”A Smart & Sustainable City”
  • The Economy. “A Pivotal Hub in the Global Economy”
  • The Government. “A Pioneering & Excellent Government”

The heart-warming intention is a clearly marked road map for the city’s continued economic growth, and a path to ensure the happiness of its residents.