Mega projects underway to boost the UAE tourism sector

Published on : Friday, September 15, 2017

UAE tourism sectorThe travel and tourism sector is a significant growth driver of the UAE economy, and is estimated to reach over $56 billion in 2022 with new mega projects coming to market. With the UAE economy on the fast track to diversification, total spending in the tourism sector is expected to increase 4.5 percent year on year in 2017 to reach over $42 billion.

Last year, leisure travel spending in the UAE reached over $31 billion in 2016, accounting for 77 per cent of the UAE’s total tourism spending. The UAE’s travel market growth would be supported by several recently announced projects, including Marsa Al Arab, a $1.7 billion mega tourist resort near the Burj Al Arab, the new IMG Worlds of Legends theme park, a Formula One theme park at Dubai’s Motor City, Six Flags at Dubai Parks and Resorts, besides a number of planned shopping malls and cultural venues.

Dubai has a set target of 20 million visitors by 2020, which would put it on a par with London and Paris.

Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing expects that there will be an influx of visitors to come by the turn of the decade, and these projections are helping to drive the construction of theme parks, hospital wings, shopping malls and several new hotels. In the first half of this year, a record 8.06 million international overnight tourists arrived in Dubai, marking a 10.6 percent increase over the same period last year.


Dubai also ranks as the world’s fourth-ranked destination city by international overnight visitor arrivals after Bangkok, London and Paris, while Abu Dhabi has become the world’s third fastest-growing destination for international visitors.

Dubai and Abu Dhabi have already grabbed international fame as among the most sought-after travel destinations and the fastest-growing cities in the world. The other emirates are also stepping up the drive to woo holidaymakers with a plethora of new touristic attractions. A number of iconic tourism infrastructure developments are underway to attract and cater to increasing numbers of tourists.


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