Transforming urban industrial landscapes through art tourism – a gentrification aesthetics model from Abu Dhabi’s case

Author First name, Last name, Institution

Nataša Slak, Zayed University
Paolo Mura, Zayed University

Document Type


Source of Publication

International Journal of Tourism Cities

Publication Date



Purpose: This paper aims to explore the opinions of business owners in an industrial area of Abu Dhabi that could be potentially turned into an art tourism destination. Design/methodology/approach: By mobilizing the concept of “gentrification aesthetics,” the authors use a recall technique to explore support toward art from business owners, regression analyses to understand how the type and content of art predicts gentrification support and chi-square to research the differences between respondents who support the area to become a creative place and those who do not. Findings: A model that explains the connection between gentrification aesthetics and art tourism is presented. Research limitations/implications: The authors’ proposed model results from testing the possibilities for expanding art tourism specifically and may not apply to other types of tourism. Future research is needed to understand whether and how the model can be applied to other forms of tourist consumption. Practical implications: The current research presents a case study on how tourism can be strategically expanded into more rural places in a city. Social implications: The authors found significant differences between respondents who would like to see Mussafah becoming a creative place in five years and those who believe Mussafah needs to be(come) something else. Originality/value: While work on tourism gentrification has been conducted, the nexus between gentrification aesthetics and art tourism cannot be found. Their relation can help to expend (art) tourism from busy cultural attractions to industrial areas. The present research fills this gap.






Tourism and Travel


Abu Dhabi, Art tourism, Gentrification aesthetics, Recall, Urban planning

Scopus ID


Indexed in Scopus


Open Access