MasterCard is teaming with travel intelligence firm Skift to spotlight how major destination cities are preparing for the new age of urban mobility. In particular, the Future Cities project will explore how global cities are creating seamless and personalized experiences for visitors and residents.
Earlier this year MasterCard, a Council Lead Partner, released its 2015 Global Destination Cities Index, which gauges and ranks in various ways the performance of 132 cities around the world. One example is the number of international overnight visitors that a city attracts per city resident. In that regard, MasterCard said Dubai is the unmistakable world champion.
Dubai in the spotlight
And Dubai is one of the cities the Future Cities series spotlights, noting that it has become a modern day crossroads connecting east and west – and that it is as innovative as it is ambitious.
Tourism, the series authors suggest, has become a vital part of Dubai's economic growth. And in just a few years, Dubai will host Expo 2020, a six-month long world's fair – with an expected visitor count of 25 million, 70% of whom will come from overseas, according to the Future Cities site.
To prepare for the influx, Dubai is focused on transportation improvements. Among them:
- The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) is testing the usage of electric buses and driverless cars with hopes to deploy during the event
- A 5-D control room is being constructed to monitor systems and provide residents with real-time city updates.
- Work is already underway to expand Dubai's driverless, fully-automated Metro system by 15 km and add seven new stations
- The city has started equipping its taxis with free Wi-Fi
- RTA is also extending the use of a prepaid card already in use for the city’s metro and bus systems to taxis
- For visitors not familiar with Arabic or English, smart, mobile device phased solutions will help guide them around the city’s attractions and transport options
The video below highlights more of the ambitious projects shaping Dubai's future.
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