Virtual reality technologies to transform the UAE’s tourism offering: research

Virtual reality technologies to transform the UAE’s tourism offering: research

New interactive technologies will revolutionise the UAE’s tourism and visitor attraction offering, helping to drive tourism receipts to US$44 billion by 2020 – the year the country hosts the World Expo – according to BMI Research.

The firm predicts virtual reality experiences, including concert performances and sporting matches, augmented reality apps, and immersive audiovisual technology, will transform the mega-event experience in the UAE.

With the UAE enhancing its role as a global leisure, tourism, and entertainment hub, it is set to welcome 25 million visitors for Expo 2020 Dubai, and draw $44bn in international tourism receipts by 2020, or 51 percent growth from 2016, according to BMI Research.

Thanks to mega-projects such as Bluewaters Island, Expo 2020 Dubai and the Warner Bros theme park, the Middle East and North Africa’s $4 trillion construction market is the world’s fastest-growing, according to reports by BMI Research and PwC.

"The Middle East and North Africa is one of the world’s fastest-growing live event markets. The UAE has the potential to leapfrog established European and North American markets in using the latest audiovisual innovations to transform the visitor experience,” said Dan Bolton, president of the International Live Events Association Middle East.

Dubai’s reputation as the region’s most advanced economy and one of the world’s hottest tourism destinations means it will spearhead many of these developments.

“With the Middle East and North Africa’s strong investment and innovative mindset, Expo 2020 Dubai and Morocco’s potential hosting of the 2026 World Cup present strong opportunities to showcase how virtual and augmented reality can deliver immersive mega-event experiences. Fans can be in the front row at a match or concert, and receive geo-location offers in venues,” said Shujat Mirza, Chapter President Dubai of the Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality Association.

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