The popularity of the UAE as a tourist destination is growing, and it has recently emerged ahead of Egypt as number one in the Arab world.
As tourism continues to boom in the UAE, the country looks ahead to the future, and the possibilities for growth in international visitor numbers. However, things are looking rosy already for the UAE, with international tourism receipts for 2012 totalling close to $10 billion. It is quite a feat that the UAE has overtaken Egypt, long considered the Arab world’s greatest tourist destination, to become the most popular spot for tourists visiting the region.
Of course, the UAE owes much of its success to the enduring international appeal of holidays in Dubai amongst tourists. Indeed, of UAE’s 14.5 million hotel guests in 2012, 10 million were accounted for by Dubai’s hotels and serviced holiday apartments.
Tourism currently accounts for around 14 per cent of UAE’s gross domestic product, according to UAE Minister of State, Reem Al Hashemi. She said, “tourism accounts for 14 per cent of our GDP, which is well above the global average of 9 per cent. Dubai is the most connected city in the world, connecting a third of the world’s population, according to the International Air Transportation Association. It connects 220 cities across the world and its airport is set to handle 66 million passengers this year.”
That kind of international traffic can only hold UAE in good stead in its bid to increase its standing in the tourism world. The latest data places it 31st in the world in terms of income from tourism – something that the UAE would no doubt like to change.