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Cultural Heritage Tourism in the Middle East - October 2015

“The Middle East is struggling with modernism, much as Western civilisation did during the Age of Enlightenment. For tourists, there’s always the allure of ‘this could be dangerous’. A lot of travellers want to have a ‘real’ cultural experience and in the Middle East you get that still. It’s not Disney!”
– Dr Robert Chadwick, co-director Wadi ath-Thamad Project, Jordan

This report looks at the following areas:

  • Which country has the most UNESCO World Heritage sites in the Middle East?
  • What is causing cultural traditions to be lost in the Middle East?
  • Why is tourism as a job creator particularly important in certain countries?
  • How did Dubai become the world’s busiest airport for international passengers?
  • How has Oman retained its cultural heritage?
  • Why has the number of tourist visits to Petra (Jordan) fallen so dramatically?

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Table of contents

  1. Introduction

    • Data Sources

      • Overview

        • The Middle East – a turbulent legacy
          • Defining cultural heritage tourism
            • Arts and music tourism
              • Built heritage tourism
                • Food/gourmet tourism
                  • Galleries and museums
                    • Religious tourism
                    • UNESCO World Heritage Sites

                        • UNESCO sites in the Middle East
                          • Figure 1: Number of sites on the UNESCO World Heritage List – present & future, 2015
                        • New sites might boost tourism
                        • A Brief Profile of the Middle East

                          • A region of urbanites
                            • Figure 2: Selected countries by size, population & % of urban population, 2015
                          • The expatriate population in Saudi Arabia and the UAE
                            • Have job will travel
                              • Literacy rates and the level of education
                                • Figure 3: Male & female literacy rates in selected countries, 2015
                              • Demographics – a youthful population
                                • Figure 4: Median age of selected countries, comparing youth unemployment rates with the average unemployment rate, 2013-14
                              • Discontent among the young
                                • Tourism as a major job creator
                                  • Figure 5: Size of the workforce, number of jobs created by the travel & tourism economy & % of total employment, selected countries, 2015
                                • Income levels in the Middle East
                                  • Figure 6: Average per-capita incomes & World Bank rankings, selected countries, 2013-14
                                • Subsidised petrol contributes to traffic problems
                                • Cultural Heritage Tourism in Selected Countries

                                  • Egypt
                                    • “Egypt – where it all begins”
                                      • Iran
                                        • “Must See Iran”
                                          • A country rich in cultural heritage sites
                                            • Israel
                                              • “Land of creation”
                                                • Jordan
                                                  • “Delve into an antique land”
                                                    • Instability in Syria and Iraq has a spill-over effect
                                                      • Oman
                                                        • “Beauty has an address – Oman”
                                                          • A high-end destination
                                                            • A mix of old and new
                                                              • Saudi Arabia
                                                                • “An enriching experience”
                                                                  • Venues accessible to non-Muslims
                                                                    • Promoting cultural heritage tourism
                                                                      • United Arab Emirates
                                                                        • “Seven Emirates – One Destination”
                                                                          • A bustling centre of commerce
                                                                            • Amid the modernity, culture has its place
                                                                              • Abu Dhabi
                                                                                • Dubai
                                                                                  • Sharjah
                                                                                    • Ajman
                                                                                      • Umm al-Quwain
                                                                                        • Ras-al-Khaimah
                                                                                          • Fujairah
                                                                                          • The UAE – A Leading Aviation Hub

                                                                                              • The world’s busiest airport for international passenger traffic
                                                                                                • A legal battle with American carriers
                                                                                                  • The ‘super-connectors’
                                                                                                    • Emirates
                                                                                                      • Etihad Airways
                                                                                                        • The low-cost carriers
                                                                                                          • Air Arabia
                                                                                                            • FlyDubai
                                                                                                              • International tourist arrivals
                                                                                                                • Figure 7: International tourism arrivals in the Middle East, 2010-14
                                                                                                              • Leading destinations
                                                                                                                • Figure 8: International tourist arrivals, selected Middle Eastern countries, 2010-14
                                                                                                              • What draws foreign tourists to the Middle East?
                                                                                                                • Geopolitics plays a role
                                                                                                                • International Tourism Revenues

                                                                                                                    • Figure 9: International tourism receipts, selected countries, 2010-14
                                                                                                                  • Source markets can influence the flow of tourism revenues
                                                                                                                    • Currency devaluation can work in a tourist’s favour – or not
                                                                                                                    • Deterrents to Travel in the Middle East

                                                                                                                      • A negative image dampens demand
                                                                                                                        • Areas that are off-limits
                                                                                                                          • Legalities
                                                                                                                          • What Next?

                                                                                                                              • A ready market within MENA
                                                                                                                                • The rise in ‘halal tourism’
                                                                                                                                  • Looking towards the future

                                                                                                                                  Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                  To learn more about the companies covered in this report please contact us.

                                                                                                                                  Cultural Heritage Tourism in the Middle East - October 2015

                                                                                                                                  £295.00 (Excl.Tax)