The United Nations World Tourism Organisation has announced that the United Arab Emirates will be rejoining the organisation 26 years after leaving it. The news was announced today at the UNWTO & Arabian Travel Market Ministerial Forum on Tourism and Aviation.
The UAE and the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) will work together on several initiatives that will look at the measurement of the economic impact of tourism, statistics and human resources development.
“The Middle East is one of the fastest growing tourism regions in the world in spite of facing countless challenges,” said Taleb Rifai, UNWTO secretary-general. “Much of this dynamism has been led by the strong political commitment awarded to tourism in the region and the vision that tourism is a key pillar of development in the Middle East of which the UAE is a perfect example.”
The UAE and the rest of the Middle East has quickly become one of the fastest growing tourism regions in the world. International tourist arrivals for Middle East holidays rose from 7.1million to 60.9 million between 1980 and 2010, an average annual increase of nearly 3 per cent more that the world average at 7.4 per cent a year.
Furthermore, international arrivals in the Middle East are expected to reach 149 million by 2030, an average annual increase of 4.6 percent compared with a world average of 3.3 per cent.
“The UAE play a central role not only in the development of tourism in the region but also in linking the Middle East with other regions and we expect that by working together we will enhance tourism within and to the Emirates as well as increase regional cooperation,” added Rifai.