Ghaith Al Ghaith, CEO of Dubai low cost airline, flydubai, has paid tribute to those who continued to develop the tourism infrastructure in Dubai during the worst of the global economic crisis. “Many people doubted Dubai for continuing to spend money on the development of hotels and associated tourism infrastructure at a time when people were cutting back on their travel spend,” said Al Ghaith. “The establishment of Dubai’s first low cost airline, flydubai, at the height of the crisis was questioned by some – but Dubai was right. “Continued increases in the number of visitors to Dubai and the UAE, and the number of people travelling through Dubai’s airport prove that the continued development of the infrastructure needed to cope with these visitors was the right thing to do. Without that development Dubai would not be in the position it is to capitalise on the increased visitor numbers. “These additional tourists and business travellers are coming for a variety of reasons, not least the recent turmoil in the region. People are putting Dubai and the UAE at the top of their leisure and business travel wish lists because they are very safe, comfortable and enjoyable destinations with something to offer to all types of travellers. They are also now an affordable travel options thanks to the lower fares introduced by flydubai and the UAE’s burgeoning budget hotel market. “Travel is something that people both need to and enjoy doing. Regional turmoil and economic crises are temporary situations which, over time, are resolved – and when they are, people start to travel again. Dubai has been very smart in continuing to invest to ensure the country is ready to capitalise on the inevitable return to travel,” Al Ghaith added. Flydubai continued its own growth despite the recession, with its fleet expanding 120% in 2010 and its network growing by 164%.