Dubai: The Land of Opportunity
From one travel destination to another, residents in the Hawaiian tropics of Hilo, Honolulu, Kaunakakai, Lihue, and Wailuku know tourism all too well. Hawaii is used to showcasing its breathtaking scenery of exquisite colors, native Hawaiian culture and artistic people, as tourists continue to visit and explore the six Hawaiian Islands. But since the late 1990s, the United Arabic Emirate of Dubai has become an increasingly popular place to visit.
With hopes to become the tourism capital of the world, Dubai has surfaced as a global city and business hub. Although Dubai’s economy was built on the back of the oil industry, the emirate’s main revenues are now from construction, real estate, tourism, trade, and financial services. Dubai is known across the world for its large, innovative and ravishing construction projects.
The 20th most expensive city in the world seeks tourism as part of the Dubai government strategy to maintain the foreign cash flow into the emirate. As of 2007, Dubai was the 8th most visited city in the world and expects to host over 15 million tourists by 2015. The city, known as the “shopping capital of the Middle East”, attracts tourist with its outstanding shopping malls and fascinating property development projects resulting in divine architecture. The boom in construction has taken skyscrapers to new heights, engineered with appealing design and technology.
The impressive shopping paradise hosts the Dubai Shopping Festival during the month of January each year. The festival brings 3 million visitors, music, art exhibits, folk dancing and family entertainment. Over 2,300 retail outlets offer everything from gold, perfume, clothing, cars, electronics, and textiles. The Dubai World Cup horse race, international fashion show, and nightly fireworks make this an event you won’t want to miss.
Dubai’s economy is projected to grow 3%-5% in 2011. “The services sector is another key sector and one of the most important stimulants in Dubai’s economy…this sector has also been performing well, recording an annual growth of 16 per cent during 1997-2007…other sectors that are also leading growth are tourism and financial services, which have proven to be solid and flexible over the past period…these sectors have the potential that will allow them to maintain growth in the next period,” states Abdul Rahman Al Ghurair, chairman of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Located south of the Persian Gulf on the Arabian Peninsula within the Arabian Desert, Dubai’s climate is very hot. Summer temperatures average highs around 104 °F and winter temperatures average highs of 73 °F. Arabic is the official language of Dubai; however English is widely spoken by residents.