GCC capital investments in tourism infrastructure are anticipated to reach $56 billion by 2022, with the UAE ranked the most ambitious in the region, driven by the growth of severeal revolutionary transport projects such as Hyperloop, according to new research.
Colliers International said lightening-speed, innovative Hyperloop train systems combined with the Haramain High Speed Railway, the development of airports in Saudi Arabia and airport expansion in the UAE, Bahrain, Oman and Kuwait will help to transform tourism infrastructure development in the GCC.
The research comes ahead of the Arabian Travel Market 2018 on April 22-25 where tourism infrastructure will feature steadily.
Hyperloop and future travel experiences will kick off business on ATM’s Global Stage on April 22. Slackening the session, Richard Dean, a UAE-based business broadcaster and presenter will be accompanied by a host of high-profile panellists involving Sir Tim Clark, president, Emirates Airline, Issam Kazim, CEO, Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DCTCM), and Harj Dhaliwal, managing director Middle East and India Operations, Hyperloop One.
Virgin Hyperloop One, a futuristic transportation concept through which pods, driven by magnets and solar, will shift passengers and cargo at speeds of 1,200kph, is the most important tourism infrastructure development in the UAE at present.
Backed by Dubai-based DP World, Hyperloop One has the strength to transport roughly 3,400 people an hour, 128,000 people every day and 24 million people per year.
In November 2016, Dubai’s Road and Transport Authority (RTA) announced ideas to calculate a hyperloop connection between Dubai and Abu Dhabi, which could decrease travel times between the two emirates by 78 minutes.
Senior exhibition director of ATM, Simon Press stated, “Providing a hyperloop connection that allows both UAE residents and tourists to travel between Dubai and Abu Dhabi in just 12 minutes is just the beginning. In the future, other emirates and indeed other GCC countries could also be linked, with journeys between Dubai and Fujairah as low as 10 minutes and Dubai to Riyadh in 40 minutes.”
Airport and cruise terminal expansions, refined domestic inter-city road and rail work and the growth of low-cost airlines will keep the GCC at the forefront of tourism infrastructure and innovation, he stated. Air passenger arrivals to the GCC are forecast to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.3 percent, from 41 million in 2017 to 55 million in 2022, Colliers mentioned in its research.
It also stated that in Dubai, cruise tourism is anticipated to expand over the next two years as the emirate focuses the arrival of 20 million tourists a year, ahead of Expo 2020. During the 2016/2017 season, Dubai welcomed 650,000 cruise tourists with this figure predicted to expand to one million by 2020. Expansion works at DP World’s Hamdan bin Mohammed Cruise Terminal at Mina Rashid are predicted to contribute to this expansion. Set to be the greatest terminal in the world, the facility is capable of handling 18,000 travellers every single day.
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