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Local Press: Huge tourist numbers reflect UAE charm

13 May 2019 13:01

ABU DHABI. KAZINFORM A UAE newspaper has said that, through strategic tourism initiatives and endless attractions, the United Arab Emirates has well strengthened its performance in terms of global tourism, a key part of its policy of economic diversification. This has placed the UAE among the world's top tourist destinations.

"The country's magnetic appeal is also largely due to the year-round calendar of festivals, events and shopping experiences," said The Gulf Today in an editorial on Monday, WAM reports.

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 AED234.2 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.

World Abu Dhabi, the Al Hosn cultural site and Qasr Al Watan Library all provided a significant boost to the emirate's appeal as a tourism destination.

The number of hotel rooms in Dubai rose to 115,967 in 2018. Dubai welcomed 4.75 million international overnight visitors in the first quarter of 2019, posting an over two per cent increase in tourism volumes compared to the same period last year, according to the latest data released by Dubai's Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing.

Steadily picking up from a stable 2018 performance, Dubai's tourism sector saw optimistic indicators from its top volume generators and its emerging growth drivers, setting the pace for 2019 both in terms of visitation numbers and GDP contribution.

Sharjah Airport has announced its 2019 first quarter results during the Arabian Travel Market event, registering over 3.156 million passengers. According to Sharjah Airport, the increased number of passengers highlighted a recorded growth of 9.56 percent in passenger movement, compared to the same period in 2018, which registered 2.880 million passengers.

The UAE is also seen as a special attraction because of its safety, security, political stability, economic prosperity, advanced infrastructure, environmental attractions, rich desert culture, shopping centres, archaeological and heritage sites, music festivals and theatrical shows.

"The advantage is that each Emirate of the UAE has its own characteristics and elegance that makes it a tourist destination, which suits the aspirations and desires of Arab and foreign visitors," concluded the Sharjah-based daily.

Keywords: World News, Tourism,