THE SOCIAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF THE EXPONENTIAL TOURISM DEVELOPMENT IN THE UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: PERSPECTIVES FROM ARAB NATIONALS AND EXPATRIATE RESIDENTS OF DUBAI AND ABU DHABI.
Clack, Brandon Neville
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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This dissertation project was an investigation into a set of findings based on both primary and secondary data research in an attempt to answer the aim of the project which was: “To critically analyse the social and environmental impact tourism development has on the UAE from perspectives of Arab nationals and Expatriate residents of Dubai and Abu Dhabi”. There are five chapters within this dissertation beginning with an introduction to the investigation. Chapter two encompasses a literature review where the author has attempted to research all academic literature theory and previous similar experiments carried out concerning the study of exponential tourism development and its effects on host community and those involved. The third chapter concerns the methodology which examines and illustrates the methods behind this research project including the reliability and validity of research. Chapter four contains the results and findings of the primary research as well as the authors discussion on various themes which have become apparent following the semi-structured interviews carried out. The author finishes by concluding his findings and making recommendations for further research in the area. The author came to the conclusion that the views and perceptions of residents in the United Arab Emirates are overall positive however the UAE has somewhat lost its original heritage, culture and identity but not for the worse but rather to keep up with the modern lifestyle. The UAE has adopted an international identity and give off the opinion that they are happy with what is happening in the country and the direction it has taken towards tourism and its development. Although the positives outweighed the negatives the author remains cautious to the fact that the country is losing its original identity leaving very little history behind that show the true humble beginnings the country came from and replacing it with a new luxurious identity heavily influenced by the western way of life. The Dubai Municipalities General Projects Department Director noted: We are losing our built heritage at the rate of one historic building a day. Unless they are protected by law, there’s little that can be done to reverse the process. (Paradkar, 2006, p. 29)
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