UAE targets $123bn tourism sector and 40m visitors a year

Tuesday, May 2, 2023


The UAE tourism sector has made a strong bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic, with spending increasing 70 per cent last year.

The announcement was made by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, on a visit to the Arabian Travel Market, at the Dubai World Trade Centre.

Sheikh Mohammed said the UAE has targeted 40m tourist visits by 2030 and a sector contribution of AED450bn ($123bn) to the national GDP.

UAE tourism targets

Taking to social media after his visit, Sheikh Mohammed said: “During my visit today to the Arabian Travel Market 2023, which hosts 2,000 tourism entities from 150 countries around the world.

Global tourism has rebounded after three years of decline. The UAE’S tourism sector has also made a strong comeback, with tourist spending in 2022 increasing by 70% to reach AED121bn, leading the region.

“We have set a target of reaching 40 million tourists within seven years, and increasing the tourism sector’s contribution to our GDP to AED450bn.

“We remain committed to developing all sectors of our national economy, with the goal of building the best and most active economy in the world.”

Sheikh Mohammed was accompanied by Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, First Deputy Ruler of Dubai, and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance ; and Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Second Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Media Council.

The global industry event has brought together 2,000 exhibitors from 150 countries to the UAE. Exhibitor participation in ATM 2023 has increased risen by 27 per cent compared to last year’s event.

Sheikh Mohammed said the development of the Arabian Travel Market into a leading global event for the travel, tourism and hospitality sectors reflects Dubai’s growth as a hub for the global business and investment community and a key venue for industry thought leaders to engage in constructive dialogue on unlocking new growth opportunities.

The theme of the event, “Working Towards Net Zero” reflects the UAE and Dubai’s commitment to shaping a sustainable future for humanity, he added.

Sheikh Mohammed added: “Our vision is to make Dubai the preferred global destination for business and investment. We seek to build on our exceptional economic achievements to open new horizons of growth.

“By combining the competencies of local talent with the synergies and expertise brought by our strong international partnerships, Dubai will continue to raise excellence in the tourism industry”.

He also highlighted the importance of the tourism sector as one of the key pillars of Dubai’s economy, and a vital driver of its economic growth agenda over the next 10 years.

“Tourism is a key sector that brings significant investment and generates exceptional economic value. Dubai’s top ranking in various international tourism industry indices reflects its emergence as one of the world’s leading destinations for travel, leisure and business.

“Consistent with Dubai’s ethos of collaboration, we have established robust cooperation with leading private sector players to ensure the highest global benchmarks of quality. We will continue to create a conducive environment for all stakeholders to contribute to the rapid growth of our tourism industry,” he said.

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