The travel and tourism sector contributed a total AED 154.1 billion ($41.95 billion) – 11.3 percent – to the UAE’s GDP in 2017, according to data released by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC).
According to the data, the figure is expected to rise 4.9 percent in 2018 and 3.8 percent per annum to AED 234.2 billion ($63.77 billion) by 2028, constituting 10.6 percent of the UAE’s GDP.
Additionally, the direct contribution of travel and tourism to GDP in 2017 was AED 69.1 billion ($18.81 billion), a figure expected to rise 5 percent to AED 72.6 billion ($19.77 billion) in 2018.
The UAE’s Minister of Economy, Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, said the data showed the UAE’s prominent standing as a regional and world tourism destination thanks to its ultra-modern infrastructure, advanced creative services sector, high quality air transport and stability.
The data also shows that the travel and tourism sector generated 300,000 jobs directly in 2017, or 4.9 percent of total employment. In 2018, jobs generated by the sector are expected to grow 4.1 percent to 312,500, including restaurant and leisure industry jobs supported by tourists.
By 2028, travel and tourism will account for 396,000 jobs directly, and support a total of 720,000 jobs, or 10.2 percent of total employment.
If the wider effects from investments, supply chain and induced income is taken into account, travel and tourism sustained 585,500 jobs in 2017, which is forecast to rise 3.2 percent in 2018 to 604,500 jobs, or 9.7 percent of total employment.
In 2017, the UAE also generated AED 123.5 billion ($33.62 billion) in visitor exports, which is expected to increase 5.3 percent in 2018.
Capital investment in tourism is also expected to go up 7.2 percent in 2018, from an estimated AED 25.4 billion ($6.92 billion) in 2017. By 2028, capital investment is forecast at AED 62.1 billion ($16.91 billion) in 2028.
Travel and tourism’s share of total national investment will go up from 8.2 percent in 2018 to 11.2 percent in 2028.
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