Tourism sector’s contribution to the UAE’s gross domestic product (GDP) reached 12 per cent in 2016, a senior UAE government official said at the Arabian Travel Market (ATM).
The total tourism spending is estimated to have reached Dh110 billion (US$30 billion) in the country, according to Mohammed Khamis Al Mheiri, Undersecretary of the UAE Ministry of Economy and Advisor to the Minister for Tourism Affairs.
Al Mheiri said, tourism is a priority of the wise leadership to develop the UAE’s economy. He added that the UAE Vision 2021 reiterates the vital role of the tourism sector.
“The government is currently working with the country’s various tourism stakeholders to develop a national strategy for coordinating efforts and enhancing supportive events, developing innovative tourism products and solutions that showcase the UAE as a distinctive tourism destination with a unified tourism identity, and supporting the unique tourism offerings of each emirate,” he said.
His announcements comes at the backdrop of new hotel development projects in the UAE with Emaar announcing six new hotels in addition to the 20 in pipeline taking the number of hotels to 26 under various phases of development and construction.
Dubai, one of the largest tourism markets in the Middle East, hosts nearly 700 hotel and serviced apartment complexes – housing more than 100,000 hotel rooms. The city – hosts of Expo 2020 – will need 40,000 more hotel rooms to be able to accommodate 20 million hotel guests per year in three and a half years. Meraas’ new hospitality push could not have come at a better time, that will help the emirate to meet the growing demand for hotel rooms.