“Abu Dhabi Plans for Future As Tourism Hub”
In the March 23, 2011 issue of The New York Times, Booz & Company Partner Fadi Majdalani (Middle East) said that Abu Dhabi faces a bright new economic future, provided it adopted 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. At the heart of the strategy is marina development as specified in a Booz & Company report, the so-called “2030 Plan,” which highlights 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 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 Majdalani in citing the 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 the growth in marina demand, Majdalani said developers will have to make capital investments of $200 billion to $300 billion in the next 15 years.