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Tue 1 May 2007 01:25 AM

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'Burgeoning' UAE tourism tops the world

The Emirates boasts the globe's biggest tourism spend per capita, says report.

The United Arab Emirates has the world's highest amount of tourism activity per capita, according to a recent report by Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels.

An increase in the number of tourists - who are attracted by wonders such as Dubai's 'seven star' Burj al Arab hotel - means that the UAE now beats other emerging markets in terms of tourism spend per unit of population.

The strength of the UAE's tourism industry is highlighted by the fact that travel and tourism economic activity represents 19% of its GDP, compared with 14% in the UK and 12% in the US.

"Compared with both established and emerging markets, including France, the UK, the US, Russia, Brazil, China and India, the UAE boasts the highest travel and tourism economic activity per capita in the world," said Arthur de Haast, global chief executive for Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels.

"Hospitality real estate developments, along with hotel trading performance, have been burgeoning particularly in Dubai and more recently in Abu Dhabi," he added.

According to the research, over the past five years hotels in Dubai have seen arrivals increase by a Compound Annual Average Growth (CAAG) rate of 12.3% to exceed 5 million in 2006. The pace of growth in Abu Dhabi is even stronger, with a CAAG of 13.5% and boasting 1.3 million visitors in 2006.

The report also highlighted that Dubai accounted for more than 50% of all new hotel development in the Arabian Gulf with 45,000 rooms planned and under development within the next 5 years. Dubai is followed by Abu Dhabi with 10,000 rooms and Doha with 6000 rooms during the same period.

Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels has opened its regional headquarters in Dubai to serve the MENA region. The Dubai office will be headed by Executive Vice President Jalil Mekouar and will focus on activities such as transactions, strategic advisory services and hospitality funds.

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