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Abu Dhabi Plans for Future as Tourism Hub
By ROCKY CASALE
Published: March 23, 2011
ABU DHABI ? Looking forward to life after oil, Abu Dhabi has an economic plan for the next 20 years that places a strong emphasis on the development of leisure and tourism
The 185-page plan, published last year, lays out a framework for a phased development program to turn the capital of the United Arab Emirates into the Gulf region?s dominant tourism destination in and beyond the next quarter-century.
Sheik Sultan bin Tahoon al-Nahyan, chairman of Abu Dhabi?s tourism authority, announced last year that marina development would be at the heart of the strategy to attract visitors.
The so-called 2030 plan includes 45 marinas with enough berths to accommodate an anticipated 10,000 luxury yachts. Abu Dhabi has already built six marinas with 1,600 berths, and seven more are in stages of development.
Along the whole coastline of the Middle East and North Africa, ?the demand for marina berths is expected to more than double by 2015 to about 82,000 berths,? said Fadi Majdalani, partner at the global management and consulting firm Booz & Co., in a December report. ?If Middle East and North African governments take the right steps to develop the sector, this number could approximately quadruple by 2025. To meet this frenzied growth in marina demand, developers will have to make capital investments of $200 billion to $300 billion in the next 15 years.?