Tourism Effects on Developing Economies

Tourism in Asia

Many developing countries have deemed that the sector of tourism is one of the most rewarding in terms of development objectives of these countries. Traditionally, the sector of agriculture was the most important in terms of revenue earners for the struggling economies. But the agriculture sector was marred by various forms of hardships chief among them being that the weather systems could not be correctly be predicted and this led to the agricultural sector not being able to fully sustain the developing countries’ economies. Tourism provided a better option and gradually it is overtaking agriculture as the sectors that are most depended on by the developing countries (Pohl, 2004).

Many developing countries are located in Africa, Asia and Latin America while some countries in Eastern Europe are still considered to be developing. Some of the countries in Africa are still depending in agriculture with a significant number of the countries recognizing tourism is a very important sector in their development efforts. Some of the Eastern European countries have depended on other sectors especially the services and finances sector. Asian countries on the other hand have depended on oil for the sustenance of their economies. But the oil industry though very profitable has been deemed to be diminishing over time and this has led to the countries looking for other avenues of sustaining their economies. One of these countries is Dubai an emirate of the United Arabs Emirates. It has developed its tourism sector so that it is deemed as one of the most important tourist destinations in the world. This backed by a real estate sector that has seen to it the development of one of the most sophisticated hotel industry in the world have played a major part in ensuring that the country is recognized as one of the best tourist attractions in the world. This goes without saying that the country has benefited largely in economic terms in the contribution the sector has had on the economy of the emirate (, 2008).

Tourism in Dubai

The government of Dubai has deemed the paramount importance of the tourism sector is the maintenance of the foreign currency flow in the emirate. For this reason the government has supported all projects that are deemed to promote the tourism industry in the country. The tourists are lured into the emirate by shopping and the government has made policies which promote shopping in the country. This has been achieved by various policies which include tax incentives and also allowing major corporations to be headquartered in the emirate. Tourists are also attracted into the emirate by its possession of modern and ancient attractions. These attractions include some very well structured real estates projects in the emirate. The government has encouraged the construction of these modern attractions as well as the modern. The government has also been very instrumental in ensuring that the traditional attractions of the emirate have been well preserved. The government has been very instrumental in ensuring that the industry of tourism in the emirate has been thriving (UAE Interact, 2009).

It is important to note that tourism is a very integral part in the economic development of the emirate. This is because it is the most populous emirate in the United Arabs Emirates. The emirate does not get its revenues from oil and natural gas unlike the other emirates. The government has tried various projects which are deemed to be very beneficial to the economical growth of the emirate. The most important of these projects are the Dubai Financial Services, Jebel Ali Free Zone, the real estate sector and tourism. The first three projects can all be seen as promoting the tourism industry in the country. This means that the government has deemed the tourism industry to be one of the most beneficial industries in the emirate. The Jebel Ali Free Zone promotes the tourism industry in that many people come to do shopping in the country and this is also a form of tourism. The real estate sector has also played a very important role in the promotion of the tourism industry because they act as one of the major tourist attractions in the emirate. The other factor which is the Dubai Financial Services also promote tourism because many investors travel from all over the world to the emirate to trade in the Dubai Financial Services (Jones, 2006).

Another factor that has promoted the tourism in the emirate is that the country has been headquartered by many world class corporations chief among them being Hewlett and Packard (HP), Microsoft and a contingent of other world class corporations. This has ensured that the popularity of the emirate is being fueled all over the world and this is very beneficial to the tourism industry because many tourists would want to visit this emirate which is being talked about all over the world (Iran Daily, 2007).

Another factor that has promoted the tourism industry in the country is the fact that the country has incorporated western technologies in the tourism sector of the country. This is because the emirate has brought some very sophisticated technologies and this means that there are facilities which are considered to be world leading in terms of entertainment. It is important to note that the emirate being composed of mainly desert lands have started skiing projects in the desert hills of the emirate. This is very outstanding and has brought about an aura of magic in the minds of the tourists. Apart from that the emirate has also incorporated these technologies in the real estate sector whereby there are hotels built in the ocean to cater for the small space of development the emirate is experiencing right now (Paul, 2008).

Benefits of tourism to Dubai’s economy

Tourism has been very instrumental in stabilizing the economy of the emirate and this can be attributed to the fact that it is now one of the leading tourist destinations in the world today. To this effect, the economic perspective of the emirate has been rejuvenated to greater heights by the revenue that is obtained from the tourists. Tourists bring a lot of business in any destination and Dubai has not been left out. This means that the revenue that is brought from the industrial sector has been very instrumental in the development of the other sectors of economy in the country. This means that the government is benefiting a lot from the tourists and also the population of the country are benefiting because of the increased trading opportunities that the tourist brings about in any destination (Jones, 2006).

With the influx of tourists, the world leading corporations have also noted the importance of this emirate is a formidable business hub and this has led to the corporations headquartering in the emirate for their business in the region. These companies range from information technology, telecommunication, media and other types of corporations. These corporations have been very influential in the growth of the economy of the emirate and this can be attributed to the fact that they offer employment to the local people which are very beneficial to any economy in the world. Apart from the employment, the corporations also provide a substantial amount of revenue for the emirate through taxation. It is important to note that if the government had not implemented the tax incentive policies, the corporations would be contributing very large amounts of revenue to the government (USA Today, 2007).

The tourism industry in itself is a good source of employment in the emirate and this can be attributed to the fact that the local people are the people who are employed in the various facilities which are used by the tourists. These facilities include such things as hotels, tourist attractions and other sources of employment in the tourism industry. This is very beneficial to the economy of the emirate as employment is one of the factors that mark a successful economy (, 2008).

The tourism industry has also ensured that there is the existence of a good hotel industry in the emirate. This is also very beneficial to the economy of the emirate because the various hotels in the emirate are used as a source of revenue to the local people as well as to the government. They also provide the very important tax to the government so that the government can address other development issues which include infrastructure and other related development issues (Jones, 2006).

The tourism industry has also been very beneficial to the people because with the mixing of cultures and other social aspects, the people have learnt a lot and this means that they have adopted very influential habits from the visitors who hail from various regions in the world. This is very instrumental in encouraging the local people to start their own ventures and this means that the local investment has improved due to tourism to some extend. This means that the economy of the emirate is improving when the locals start to invest in the country as well as in other emirates and other countries around the world (UAE Interact, 2009).

Costs of tourism to the economy of Dubai

Generally, the industry of tourism in the emirate cannot be said to be harmful to the economy but there has been some concerns which are directed towards this ends. One of the concerns is that the government on its effort to be a leading tourist attraction in the world has embarked on some very ambitious real estate projects which have led to the straining of the budget. This has led to the local people being denied some of their basic amenities which have led to widespread abuse of human rights in the emirate. This has brought about a controversy as to how the government has put the order of their priorities with many experts citing that the government is geared towards proving a point to the world and in doing so forgetting about its responsibility to the locals of the emirate. This means that tourism has played a very important role in ensuring that the local do not get the quality of life they deserve from the government (, 2008).

Many of the corporation that have been headquartered in the emirates do not offer the locals the well paying jobs and the local are left to the low paying and unskilled labor opportunities the corporations have to offer. This means that the corporations do not benefit the locals as the authorities would like the world to believe. The better paying jobs are only offered to the people who hail from the mother countries of the corporations. This has ensured that the locals do not develop in accordance to expectations that the locals would develop from the presence of these corporations in the emirate. Economically, the presence of these corporations which can be rooted to the influx of tourists can be seen exploiting the economical opportunities of the emirate rather than enhancing the economical outlook of the emirate (Paul, 2008).


The tourism sector in the emirate has played a very important role in the economical growth and the development of Dubai. This can be attributed to the fact that the industry have opened up many other avenues of economical growth and this can be attributed to the fact that the influx of tourist have rejuvenated other sectors of the economy most notably the services industry. Other sectors like the Jebel Ali Free Trade Area can attribute its success to the tourism industry although even the tourism industry has also benefited a lot from the free trade area. Although the tourists in the country have been cited as bring about some economical problems to the emirate, the benefits of the industry by far surpass the costs of the industry in the economy of the emirate.


Jones, Rhys. “Viva Dubai?” Middle East 371 (2006) : 46-47.

Paul McLennan and Ali Al-Shouk (2008). Tourists get drug warning. Dubai City News. Web. (2008). Tourism industry improving in Dubai. Web.

UAE Interact (2009). Dubai increases its tourist figures. Web.

Pohl, O. (2004): Dubai Keeps Superlatives Coming. International Herald Tribune. Web.

USA Today, (2007). Dubai Overview. Web.

Iran Daily, (2007). Import Bill from Dubai. Web.

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