UAE tourism sector expected to outpace global growth rate

Published on : Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Abu Dhabi maintains top position in the UAEThe UAE tourism sector’s growth is anticipated to go past the global pace with travel and tourism’s contribution reaching Dh260 billion over the next 10 years.

To quote Gerald Lawless, chairman, World Travel & Tourism Council, “Globally, our sector is forecast to grow by about 4 per cent each year for the next decade. But in the UAE, it’s higher at 5 per cent. By 2027, our research predicts that travel and tourism will contribute over Dh260 billion to the GDP of the UAE, which is 12.4 per cent of the whole economy. He said this while addressing the 4th Sharjah Hospitality Forum held at Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Monday.

He pointed out that “over the course of the next decade, more than Dh600 billion will be invested in travel and tourism in the UAE in the form of airport upgrades, rail networks, port facilities and hotels etc.”

In 2016, the direct contribution of the travel and tourism sector to the UAE’s GDP was Dh68.5 billion which is the same as 5.2 per cent of the total GDP.



At the forum, Lawless said travel and tourism is one of the biggest contributors to the UAE’s job sector.

Lawless said, “Here in the UAE, the power of travel and tourism to create jobs and drive economic growth is well-understood and is at the centre of the economic development plans of many emirates,” adding that the sector directly contributes almost Dh70 billion to the country’s economy.

Lawless projected that this adds to almost Dh160 billion when all the direct, indirect and induced benefits are taken into account.

According to Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA), local hospitality sector revenues witnessed a remarkable 7.8 per cent increase during the first half of 2017 compared with the previous year, reaching Dh372 million. The emirate continues to position itself as a top destination for local, regional and international tourists. In the UAE, Sharjah aims to attract 10 million tourists by 2021 while Dubai is eyeing 20 million visitors by 2020.


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