Dubai, one of the most rapidly growing and advancing cities in the world, has become a prime tourist destination in recent decades. Its geography, demography, economy, technology, development, and modernity are contributing factors in its rise to the pedestal of popularity. Dubai's becoming of a tourism hub has had several positive results on law and life. This article attempts to discuss tourism in Dubai for all the right reasons and the laws governing the same.
January 2021 saw the UAE Cabinet approve the establishment of the Emirates Tourism Council that is directed towards strengthening the nation's tourism sector. It is seen to be instrumental in shaping tourism policies towards the greater goal of the UAE Centennial 2071 landmark celebrations. The easing laws and the rapid development make a perfect mix for Dubai to transform into a tourism hub.
Let us dive into the history of Dubai and understand its rise to a tourism hub for a better understanding. Dubai could not boast a tourist-friendly environment until the late 1950s. The opening of the international airport and the revolutionising oil discovery were the two foundations that marked the beginning of Dubai's globalisation. The former Dubai Tourism Board 1989 was transformed into the present-day Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, DCTM 1997 that focuses on Dubai's International visibility as a commercial and tourist hub.
The law deals with the establishment of the Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing. It stipulates that "the DCTCM will have legal personality, and the legal capacity required to undertake all acts and dispositions that ensure the achievement of its objectives." The DCTCM is associated and would closely work with the DCTM. It elucidates the functions to be carried out by the DCTCM, which include marketing the Emirate as a prime destination for trade, commerce, business, tourism, entertainment and event organisation; promote the Emirate, the Dubai Brands and the coordination between the private and public sectors in all their endeavours; and establish regional, national and international trade relations, representation offices and various other outlying developmental entities.
Some recent developments and laws concerning Tourism
- The working week and the weekend
Towards a greater national move, the government of UAE sanctioned the proposal of shifting the weekend from Friday-Saturday to Saturday-Sunday, incorporating it with the international tradition and making it more inclusive & favourable in terms of economic and tourist activities. Being an Islamic Gulf State, this step has been remarkable in revolutionising the laws. The weekend will begin at 12 noon Friday and will extend till Sunday. The four-and-a-half day working week is said to improve the work efficiency of the Emiratis and also benefit the tourism and commerce sectors of the nation.
- Inheritance and divorce
In a bid to liberalise, there has been a series of legal developments in the stricter laws of Dubai in recent years. At the crossroads of vibrant demography and a melting pot of diverse cultures, Dubai announced relaxations in the laws for non-emirates. Earlier, the Muslims inherited property under the Sharia Law, while the Non-Muslims were to file for a petition for the application of the laws in their home country. The administration now indiscriminately allows the governance of inheritance under the laws of the deceased's home country. The amendment was brought about by replacing the provisions of several laws. Similarly, the divorce laws have been eased wherein the non-Muslims were to follow the laws prevalent in the husband's home country previously. However, now, the laws of the country in which the marriage took place are to be considered for divorce purposes. These moves are in line with the demography that is largely composed of expatriates reaching about 90 per cent of the 10 million-strong population and attracting foreign investment and tourism in the region.
- The Dubai Expo 2020
When talking about Dubai as a tourist hub, the Dubai Expo 2020 cannot be forgotten. It is a world in itself. The Expo is an arrangement wherein countries from all over the world gather to converse about progress, development and cooperation along with an interactive and entertaining setup open to tourists all around the world. During times when international issues are being discussed and debated more profoundly than ever before, the Expo presents an opportunity to come up with potential solutions for the said problems. The Dubai Expo 2020, expecting around 25 million visitors, is scheduled to operate from October 2021 to April 2022 has been truly phenomenal in instilling a sense of belongingness and diversity.
Apart from various activities the city provides, the UAE's Golden Jubilee Celebrations in 2021 to mark 50 years of the Emirate's founding largely contributed to its tourism sector in the Covid-era along with an aggressive immunization strategy. An abundance of programmes was scheduled throughout Dubai's landscape as part of the Golden Jubilee Celebrations. The recent years have been crucial for the UAE, which were characterised by the normalisation of the relations with Israel and the development in space technology, namely the Emirates Mars Mission that boasted Al-Amal or the Hope robe.
In conclusion, Dubai has come a long way from a desert to a dreamland where every dream can come true. The increasing flood of tourists has been changing the order of Dubai's daily life. With a constantly developing and rapidly progressing environment, Dubai has entered 2022 with memories of an incredible 50 years and looks forward to an incredible 50 more.
Kanishk Bhavesh Gala
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