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Dubai is planning to build a temperature-controlled city featuring the world’s largest mall and an indoor park, as well as hotels, health resorts and theaters, the developer stated late Sunday. It was not confirmed when construction would begin or what the cost of the project would be. Visitor numbers were boosted by increases from its largest source markets – such as a 30% rise in tourists from Saudi Arabia and a 54% increase in Russian visitors, both countries which feature in the city’s top five markets. Overall, the emirate recorded a 9.3% rise in hotel guests and cruise passengers in 2012 to 10.16 million people. Dubai is a unique destination that is both a dynamic business center and a tourist paradise, offering more attractions, shopping, fine dining and quality hotels. From the timeless tranquility of the desert to the lively bustle of the souk, Dubai offers a kaleidoscope of attractions for visitors.
The emirate embraces a wide variety of scenery in a very small area. In a single day, the tourist can experience everything from rugged mountains and awe-inspiring sand dunes to sandy beaches and lush green parks, from dusty villages to luxurious residential districts and from ancient houses with wind towers to ultra-modern shopping malls. For the first time in our city’s history we have crossed the 10 million threshold in visitor numbers, claimed Helal Almarri, the director general of Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM). With its less than 6 million population and a GDP par capital predicted to rise by 22% to just $75,000 by 2015, Dubai, a city of superlatives, pristine beaches and an interesting mix of indoor and outdoor entertainment, has in the last 21 years been playing host to thousands of visitors from around the world. This growth is due to a number of factors including the city-wide destination management strategy, our world-class infrastructure, our location at the crossroads of East and West, and our unrelenting efforts to enhance our diverse and compelling tourism offer. Dubai Holding, the company behind the project, says on its website that the mall will be the world’s largest, but that claim could not be independently confirmed. By comparison, Minnesota’s Mall of America, the largest in the United States, is 4.87 million square feet.
There were also increases in the number of nights people stayed in the emirate, their average length of stay and hotel revenues. The growth across each indicator is a welcome confirmation of Dubai’s ever-increasing appeal and a testament to the aggressive marketing and promotional agenda of DTCM in positioning Dubai as the major tourist hub of the region and a global destination of choice. The emirate’s ruler, Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, has laid out plans for a sprawling real-estate project, the Mall of the World, which will include an 8-million-square-foot mall, a climate-controlled street network, a theme park covered during the scorching summer months and 100 hotels and serviced apartments. Plans for the project also include a cultural and theater district drawing inspiration from New York’s Broadway, a shopping thoroughfare based on London’s Oxford Street and a wellness district meant to attract medical tourists.
What would it profit a country that embarks on annual exhibition that boasts of millions of exhibitors and tourists across the globe you may ask. The purpose really, is to attract tourists to the country and boost the economy. The recently concluded Arabian Travel Market held at Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Center between May 4 and 8, 2014 in Dubai achieved this with thousands of visitors who converged not only to showcase their wares but to also catch a glimpse of the city, which has become one of the most desired destinations in the world.