Today, Chittagong is one of the fastest growing cities in the world, with a GDP of $25 Billion. A major commercial and industrial centre, the city also has a globally competitive special economic zone. With the Port of Chittagong being expanded and developed, the Dhaka–Chittagong Highway being upgraded into 4 laned divided highway, and Shah Amanat International Airport being upgraded, regional neighbours of Bangladesh have eyed Chittagong as a future regional transit hub. The port city is seen as crucial to the economic development of landlocked southern Asia including Northeast India, Bhutan, Nepal and parts of Southern China and Burma.
Patenga is a popular tourist spot. The beach is very close to Bangladesh Naval Academy of Bangladesh Navy, and Shah Amanat International Airport. The beach width is narrow and swimming in the seas is not recommended. Part of the seashore is built-up with concrete walls. Also large blocks of stones have been laid out to prevent erosion. During the 1990s a host of restaurants and kiosks have sprouted out around the beach area. Lighting of the beach area has enhanced the security aspect of visiting in the night. People rise up early in the morning to witness the beautiful sunrise.
Watercolour by Thomas (Prinsep, 1800-1830) of moored boats from Arakan or Chittagong, dated c.1828. The image is inscribed on the album page: 'Mugh boats'. Mugh is the name commonly applied to natives of Arakan or Chittagong.