Efforts are being made to diversify the UAE’s economy away from oil through enforcing its status as a trade and tourism hub. Tourism in particular has received heavy investment for the development of sports facilities, leisure parks, and centers for international conferences and events. New markets are being targeted with new products and offers introduced. The country’s airlines are also being expanded by purchasing new aircraft and planning new routes. Dubai is among the top ten most popular city destinations.
According to the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, over 10m tourists visited Dubai in 2012 and 57.7m passengers were handled by Dubai International Airport alone. With the win of the Expo 2020, Dubai is preparing to receive 25m tourists for the six month event. It is estimated that approximately $9b will be spent to fund Dubai’s growth plans for the Expo as huge technological investments will be required to accommodate such a number of participants. 80,000 hotel rooms are expected to be added to current capacity to handle the influx.