Dubai has become a hub for commerce, aviation and leader for the Gulf region, and a significant destination for tourists from across the globe. Dubai International Airport, which is currently ranked the fourth busiest airport in the world in terms of international passengers, recorded total passenger traffic in the first 11 months of 2012 at 52.3 million travellers, up 13.1% against 2011, with passenger numbers forecast to reach 56.5 million in 2012, and 98 million by 2020. (www.breakingtravelnews.com 13th Feb 2013)
Visitors are looking to spend budgets amounting to billions in the UAE, but many of them will have disabilities, which unless catered for, will put them off considering it as a destination for work, leisure and tourism.
Dubai’s 2020 vision is of hosting 25 million tourists. For the first time during 2012, Dubai played host to more than 10 million international visitors. Tourist arrivals in the UAE are forecast to grow at a CAGR of 5.3% between 2012 and 2022, according to a recent Dubai Chamber study, supported by statistics published by Business Monitor International.
In November 2013 it was announced that Dubai was to host Expo 2020. Figures from Dubai authorities estimate that winning the rights to host Expo 2020 will create a staggering 111,000 new jobs in the hotel and restaurant sectors alone, and all this will present challenges for the transportation networks for airports, metro, buses, trams, motor and water taxis.