Spending within the UAE’s travel and tourism sector is expected to rise steadily over the next five years and reach over $56 billion in 2022, according to a new report.
New analysis conducted by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry said new mega projects coming to market will drive the growth.
The analysis, based on data from Business Monitor International (BMI) and the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) revealed that total spending in the sector is predicted to increase 4.5 percent year on year in 2017 to reach more than $42 billion.
Dubai Chamber said growth within the UAE’s travel market growth will likely be supported by several recently announced projects, including Marsa Al Arab, a $1.7 billion mega tourist resort near the Burj Al Arab, the new IMG Worlds of Legends theme park, a Formula One theme park at Dubai’s Motor City, Six Flags at Dubai Parks and Resorts, in addition to a number of planned shopping malls and cultural venues.
These mega projects fall in line with Dubai's preparations to host Expo 2020, diversify the emirate’s mix of leisure and entertainment offerings, and accommodate 20 million visitors in the city by 2020, the report noted.
The data found that tourism and travel accounted for 12.1 percent of the UAE’s GDP in 2016 ($43.3 billion), with leisure travel spending amounting to $31.31 billion, or 77 percent of UAE’s total tourism spending.
The data also revealed that a total of 14.9 million leisure and business travellers visited the UAE in 2016, representing a 4.9 percent increase from the previous year.
The Middle East was identified largest source of visitors, with a share of 28.6 percent in total arrivals during 2016, followed by the Asia Pacific region at 25.7 percent, and Europe at 17.1 percent.
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