Explore like a local: Student generated websites as representation of emirati perspectives on Dubai tourism

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e-Review of Tourism Research


© 2018 Texas A and M University. Visitors to Dubai typically get their information from a Google search or consulting TripAdvisor when seeking recommendations on what to see and do. Thus, the "tourism message" tends to shift to user-generated content from a visitor's, rather than a local's, perspective. Visit Dubai, the official enterprise website for Dubai tourism wishes to promote Dubai as a cultural heritage destination. Taking this as the "brief," two media production classes at Zayed University built unique interactive web experiences from Emirati student perspectives. What emerged were "local" perspectives on popular tourist destinations and activities as well as some recommendations that do not make it onto tourism websites. By tying the brief to a societal need, students envisioned the work they could do upon graduation and their roles as professionals. Also, as "proof of concept," the student websites provide an alternative and legitimate voice to the spectrum of visitor information available on the web and one that could be harnessed to promote Dubai's tourism attractions internationally, but with a "local" flare.

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