UAE tourism sector witnesses significant growth

Published on : Friday, May 10, 2019

The hospitality sector of UAE witnessed positive growth and prosperity in numbers of guests and establishments. The number of hotel rooms in Dubai rose to 115,967 in 2018, receiving over 15.92 million tourists. In Abu Dhabi, the sector set a new record, by accommodating 5.45 million guests in 168 properties.


The UAE is also keen to develop its aviation sector, with Dubai International Airport handling the largest number of passengers of any airport in the world, while Abu Dhabi Airport has the fastest-growing number of international passengers. In 2018, the UAE’s airports received 129 million passengers, an increase of two percent compared to 126.5 million passengers in 2017, according to data from the General Civil Aviation Authority. Dubai International Airport received 94.6 million passengers in 2018, Abu Dhabi International Airport 22.3 million, Sharjah International Airport 10.7 million and Al Maktoum International Airport 921,400.


The UAE has many natural and environmental attractions, as well as a rich desert culture, enabling it to offer tourists a diverse range of activities. Millions of visitors also visit major shopping centres, like the malls in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, while the opening of the Louvre Ahu Dhabi Museum complements numerous museums elsewhere in the country, in particular in Sharjah.


Tourists are also visiting archaeological and heritage sites in increasing numbers. Key sites include Abu Dhabi’s Qasr al-Hosn, the Al Fahidi fort and museum in Dubai, the archaeological sites of Mleiha and Muwailah in Sharjah, Fujairah Fort and the restored palace in Fujairah’s Wadi Hail, Dhayah Fort in Ra’s al-Khaimah, the ‘Red Fort’ in Ajman, the 5,000 year-old mound of Tell Abraq in Umm al-Qaiwain and Al Jahili Fort and the Hili Archaeological Garden in Al Ain.


The UAE is a leading destination for arts and culture due to myriad art exhibitions, music festivals and theatrical shows taking place throughout the year. It also has many exhibition tourism facilities, such as the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre and Expo Centre Sharjah.


The UAE is also seeing the growth of medical tourism, with an estimated 450,000 patients coming from abroad in 2018.

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