Destination Brands Dubai and Abu Dhabi: Bitter Rivalry or Strategic Partnership?
Embargoed until: 2018-06-30
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Statements about the impressive growth of tourism in the Arab world, made throughout this book, are misleading if they are not qualified by statements about the sector's highly skewed geo graphical distribution. Several destination-cities, notably Dubai but also Abu Dhabi, Doha and Bahrain, have status as hyper-concentrated and rapidly growing nodes of tourismrelated activity surrounded beyond their immediate semi-developed hinterlands by enormous tracts where tourism is negligible due to harsh ge ophysical environments, isolation and/or socio-political instability. Centripetal tendencies in the former that foster ever-higher levels of tourism development contrast with centrifugal tendencies in the latter which discourage diffusion, resulting in amplified 'oasis effects'. More broadly, this embodies the idea of a 'Middle East tourism paradox' wherein these oases are seen to thrive within an overall regional context of ethnic and religious rivalry and geopolitical tension (Hazbun, 2006). With the direct economic benefits generated by and accruing to such a small portion of the Arab landscape, the question of how these privileged oases emerge and remain as such is a worthy topic of investigation that has already received considerable attention (Ali, 2010; Balakrishnan, 2008; Elsheshtawy, 2010; Henderson, 2007; Steiner, 2010).
Tourism in the Arab World: An Industry Perspective
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