Gulf regions’ massive scale-up in infrastructure set to drive travel industry

Ernesto Sanchez Beaumont

Head of Commercial Strategy and Business Management, MENA, Amadeus IT Group

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We’ve blogged about the ‘population effect’ and the ‘beyond oil effect’, which are two of the five big effects shaping the future of travel in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. One more important effect, which we’ve identified in our report, Shaping the Future of Travel in the Gulf Cooperation Council, is the ‘infrastructure effect’.


Infrastructure investment provides the growth of jobs, which meets the needs of the demographic growth. These jobs require people to meet, to talk, and to travel. The jobs provide pay, which is spent on life’s essentials and pleasures. Travel is a pleasure and a treat and by nature the GCC citizen loves to travel. The net result is that infrastructure growth drives travel.

A steady inflow of hydrocarbon revenues has ensured that the region is never short of resources for investment. In recent years, given the population effect, these countries have not only sharpened the focus of their development plans, but also adopted a comprehensive approach that covers all aspects of infrastructure.

A HotSpot for sports

Qatar’s game plan is to be a hotspot for sports; Abu Dhabi’s to be the cultural city, while other cities are looking at becoming centres for culture, heritage, and religion. The region’s focus on enhancing its destination offering is well exemplified by Dubai, which has a vision of welcoming 20 millioninternational visitors by 2020.

New cities are being constructed, roads widened, airports expanded, accommodation capacity increased, and flight frequency is on the rise. The impact of greater capacity will play out through more competitive fares and the continued success of low cost carriers, ultimately resulting in affordable air travel for a greater number of travellers.

The impact of high-speed rail will be critical for the region. It is expected to emerge as the preferred mode for long, arduous road journeys. It may also replace short distance air routes, thereby requiring the aviation industry to explore tie-ups and increase its outreach.

To find out more about how the infrastructure effect will shape the future of travel in the Gulf region – have a look at this infographic and download our free report Shaping the Future of Travel in the Gulf Cooperation Council.


Middle East, Research