Dubai skyline

Dubai is synonymous with glamour and riches, air-conditioned shopping centres, and luxury, modern buildings litter the city and when the sun goes down Dubai transforms itself into a neon utopia with a lively nightlife. It’s no wonder that holidaymakers flock here to enjoy a cosmopolitan break. However, Dubai’s tourism board recently announced that it will look towards diversifying the tourism industry, by developing the mid-price family market and setting up areas for people to explore the intricate traditions that make up Dubai.

“Tradition is something we will be focusing on moving forward,” says the Dubai Tourism Chief Executive, Isaam Kazim, during a visit to London. “The spice markets, the textile markets, things people can go and explore. We are looking at the art of falconry and the stories behind that, where we can now have children bonding with the birds, and then training them with drones.”

Family tourism represents around 30% of the industry, and it’s consistently growing. Most families book annual summer holidays, particularly if they have children attending school and these getaways are integral to long-term family bonding. Thanks to budget airlines many families opt for more exotic locations like Florida and Spain.

Already Dubai is home to the world’s largest indoor theme park; IMG Worlds of Adventure; which opened its doors to the public last year, covering 1.5 million square feet. The park is divided into four zones, two of which are represented by popular global brands; Marvel and Cartoon Network.

But, Dubai looks set to unveil more sights that highlight traditions and culture. It aims to reach 20 million visitors per annum by the year 2020. A figure that was agreed on by Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum in 2012.  

 “We are stepping into the past as we move toward the future in Dubai,” continues Isaam. “Our culture and authenticity will come to the fore.”

apartments in Dubai