Visiting the desert is now an attractive alternative in the agenda of a seasoned tourist, a location which is becoming increasingly developed with high-end ecofriendly resorts, luxurious shopping malls, five-star hotels, and residential-business complexes. The growth of tourism is reflected in the quick pace in which projects are being developed in the major cities such as Dubai (UAE) and Doha (Qatar).
According to the World Tourism Organization, tourism in the Arab region grew in 2014 by two percent as a result of increased traffic in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and indicates revenues from tourism in the Gulf region went up by as much as 10.4 per cent in the year 2015. The increase in the number of visitors creates a need for construction of new real estate and growth of the service industry.
Executive Director Moataz Al-Khayyat, at UrbaCon Construction & Trading, understands the importance of these changes, and has taken the initiative to mobilize tourism in the Middle East. Al-Khayyat who reported that “Qatar is moving strongly towards the implementation of green real estate projects, which reduces both the negative impacts of buildings on the environment as well as the construction operating costs,” has encouraged a more educated workforce and an increase of ecofriendly building materials.
The choices for tourist visiting major cities in the Middle East is continuously increasing including such projects-in-development as Lusail City, a futuristic, planned city estimated to cost $45 billion with modern artistic architectural elements—a model urban community in the Gulf region which is also scheduled to build the Lusail Iconic Stadium, where the finals of the World Cup will be played in 2022.
To meet the growth of tourism in the area, new innovative services and technologies are becoming mainstream, such as mobile apps designed for travelers to quickly book a stay, including flight, hotel, attractions, shopping locations, and recreational activities in the Gulf region. Travel agencies have adopted the “one package” policy which offers tourist everything from the application of mobile travel reservations to booking a camping trip in the desert, dinner on a posh yacht, to a tour of historical sites within one application.