Residents’ Perceptions of Cultural Tourism in Dubai

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Cultural tourism has become popular over the past few years, and a lot of attention has been placed on perceptions of cultural tourism—especially from the residents’ view—in places such as Canada and Greece; however, little is known about residents’ perception of cultural tourism in the UAE. The purpose of this study was to explore Dubai residents’ perception of cultural tourism within the city of Dubai and fill the gap in the literature. A quantitative approach was utilized to collect data via an online survey following a convenience and snowball sampling techniques. Surveys were distributed to residents of Dubai via email. A total of 141 respondents were used in the study. Results of the survey showed that most participants were female, expatriates, belonged to the age group of eighteen to twenty-five years, and had lived in Dubai for more than ten years. Based on the literature, five hypotheses were developed and tested, and all were rejected. Overall, residents had a positive perception towards cultural tourism but had a different idea about it, as they considered attractions like Burj Khalifa to be part of Dubai’s culture. It is suggested to the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing to market cultural tourism more and revitalize the cultural heritage. By doing so, it could provide Dubai with a competitive advantage over other destinations.