Dubai, one of the GCC’s sought after destinations for leisure and business travel, will embark on another ambitious project following an announcement by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
Already home to the world’s tallest tower and several iconic structures, the emirate plans to build a massive urban development project that will include the world’s largest mall and a park that can accommodate around 35 million visitors per year.
The new initiative, known as the Mohammed Bin Rashid City, will be undertaken by Dubai Holding and Emaar Properties – developers of multi-million-dollar projects such Dubai Mall, Burj Khalifa, Downtown Dubai and Armani Hotel Dubai, to name a few.
Located between Emirates Road, Al Khail Road and Sheikh Zayed Road, the development project will be set up in collaboration with Universal Studios. It will include a retail complex named “Mall of the World”, which can accommodate 80 million visitors a year, as well as over 100 hotels to meet the demands of a growing number of inbound visitors to Dubai.
The latest government initiative, according to UAE’s national news agency WAM, aims to help further boost national economy and position the country as a regional hub for arts, culture and tourism. The project will also support the infrastructure requirements of the city’s expanding travel and tourism sector.
Dubai Airports, which operates the Dubai International Airport and the Dubai World Central-Al Maktoum International Airport, forecasts that air passenger traffic to the emirate will grow at an annual average of over seven percent to reach 98.5 million by 2020.
"Our development initiatives concerning infrastructure in all sectors should be aligned with this growth rate and we have the determination to reach our objectives and be the first in the region to achieve them," said Sheikh Mohammed.
One of the most diversified economies in the Gulf region, Dubai boasts modern infrastructure, world-class hotels, as well as business and leisure facilities that attract visitors from around the globe. The travel and tourism sector is a major income-generating industry for Dubai and is expected to account for 32 percent of the emirate’s GDP by 2020.