Myanmar will soon reopen to tourism, more than five years after a catastrophic cyclone crushed the country.
The plans mean that around 1.2 million people are expected to find jobs, all of whom will benefit from income-generating projects set up through the “new era”.
Yet economic powerhouses such as Dubai and Singapore which saw their industries hit during the last Burmese cyclone, are already looking to bolster their economies even further, and will be bidding for the tourists looking to rebound from a cyclone of their own.
Myanmar is a popular tourist destination, and overseas arrivals hit 1.8 million people in 2017, a little more than 1.1 million of which were British.
Cyclone Nargis killed nearly 138,000 people in 2008, a figure that rises to 145,000 if the UN Fact Charts are correct. The floods which swept across the country left 4.5 million people displaced, while 2.5 million people are still struggling to re-build their lives.
But Myanmar’s hopes of a large influx of tourists from around the world is far from clear. Tourism generated over $1.1 billion for the country in 2017, according to the Associated Press, with the country’s economy growing strongly in recent years, despite the cyclone.
Some analysts are skeptical, however, that any of the existing infrastructure will be ready by 2022.
Yawn to tourists who are used to artificial air strips: Dubai’s BinZayed Airport has just become the world’s biggest by terminal size. pic.twitter.com/PN8TfNsBWm — UAE News (@UAENewsTeam) June 20, 2018
Meanwhile, there are plenty of spectacular things to see and do if you are already in the region, such as the Middle East’s largest park, Al-Dhabba Park in Abu Dhabi, the glitzy pyramids at Giza, or several thriving food hubs in Dubai.
The jewel in Dubai’s crown is the majestic Burj Khalifa which, at 2,700 metres, is the tallest building in the world.