Conference Poster

Placemaking in Dubai: How successful are waterfront developments in creating quality places?


Placemaking is a widely adopted tool used by local governments and tourism authorities to market destinations. Dubai has implemented this approach across the city and along its ever-growing waterfront. A great deal of literature has been written on waterfronts as a global phenomenon (Brownill, 2013) and the transferable models of Baltimore and Boston which have been embraced across the globe (Smith and Ferrari, 2012). This research aims to investigate and identify the success of Dubai's waterfront developments in creating quality places as waterfront developments have become key tourism destinations in Dubai. Quality places provide variety and are attractive, accessible, well-connected, comfortable and sociable - they are places that offer positive aesthetic and sensory experiences. To identify the success, or shortcomings, of Dubai’s waterfront developments, this research establishes an analytical framework which includes criteria and indicators for quality places, and is based on academic literature. Al Seef, Bluewaters and La Mer, three waterfront developments in Dubai, were assessed using this framework. The results of the analysis, along with the responses from interviews conducted with professionals, will help to form a conclusion which is the next stage of the research. The results of this research will provide an understanding into the effectiveness of tourism placemaking in creating quality places in Dubai’s waterfront developments. The findings will contribute to research on waterfront developments and will shed light on waterfront placemaking in the context of the Middle East, providing an alternative to the wealth of literature on Western examples.

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Mankelow, Ingrid

Oxford Brookes departments

Faculty of Technology, Design and Environment
School of the Built Environment


Year: 2021

© Mankelow, Ingrid

All rights reserved.

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