ABU DHABI: The strategic tourism initiatives of United Arab Emirates as key part of its policy of economic diversification has placed the country among the world’s top tourist destinations, The Gulf Today said Monday.
“The country’s magnetic appeal is also largely due to the year-round calendar of festivals, events and shopping experiences,” said the newspaper in its editorial.
The tourism sector contributes over AED161 billion to the national GDP, a figure that is expected to record annual increases of 3.9 percent to reach AED 234.2 billion by 2027, 10.6 percent of estimated GDP for that year.
“With the international mega event Expo 2020 drawing closer, a wave of excitement and optimism has been gripping the UAE,” added the editorial comment, noting that the economic benefit would be enormous as Expo 2020 Dubai expects to attract 25 million visits to explore its theme of ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’ in the six-month event starting October 2020.
More than 70 percent of visitors are projected to come from outside the UAE – the largest proportion of international visitors in the 168-year history of World Expos.
The UAE’s hospitality sector has achieved positive results in indices related to growth, prosperity and numbers of guests.
The latest figures released by the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi for the emirate’s hospitality sector reveal that total hotel revenues for the emirate for Q1 of 2019 have increased by more than 16 percent compared to the same period in 2018.
Events such as the AFC Asian Cup, IDEX exhibition, Special Olympics World Games, and the Retail Abu Dhabi shopping festival, alongside the popularity of in-demand new attractions including Warner Bros.