Nordic tourists heading to the United Arab Emirates are likely to be spending as much as $718m in the country within four years, according to a new report released in advance of the Arabian Travel Market 2020, which will be held in Dubai later this year.

Colliers International conducted the study, which found that a 36% surge in tourism spending by Nordic tourists will be experienced by the UAE between 2018 and 2024.

Spending per individual trip is also expected to hit as high as $2,088.

The UAE will witness the highest growth in Nordic tourist spending in comparison to other countries in the GCC, with Saudi Arabia and Bahrain in second and third place respectively.

Nordic tourists from Denmark, Sweden, Iceland, Norway and Finland to the GCC are likely to generate around $180m in revenue for the travel and tourism industry by 2024.

The outbound tourism market from Nordic countries has witnessed gradual growth over the course of the last five years, and in just 2018, 50.5m trips overseas were made by residents, according to the ATM’s Exhibition Director ME Danielle Curtis.

Arrivals to the GCC from Norway, Finland, Iceland, Denmark and Sweden will have increased by as much as 25% over the course of six years, according to the report.

The rise is being driven by the increased number of direct and new flights, the enormous array of one-of-a-kind travel experiences offered by the region, and more relaxed visa regulations.

On Monday, the first five-year multi-entry UAE tourist visa was announced by the Ruler of Dubai and Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

A new tourist visa scheme was also launched last year in Saudi Arabia as part of the attempt to have the country become more open to international visitors, and to make the economy more diverse and less dependent on oil.

As of this month, pre-entry visa fees have been reduced by over 50% by Bahrain – they now stand at just 40 Bahraini dinars after previously costing 85 dinars.

According to Colliers International, around 383,800 Nordic citizens are expected to come to the GCC within the next four years.

The number of arrivals will be led by tourists from Sweden at 191,900, with Denmark in second place with as many as 76,700 arrivals.

Norway, Finland and Iceland follow with 62,800, 47,200 and 5,200 arrivals respectively.

Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi have been popular destinations for business tourists from Norway for a number of years now because of their joint oil industry interests.

The UAE is going to stay the preferred Norway tourist destination in the GCC, with 342,200 tourists expected by 2024, according to Curtis.

Anyone who travels to the UAE should take out travel insurance.

Travel insurance is important as it protects travellers from adverse financial consequences in the event of unexpected circumstances such as lost luggage, cancelled flights and injury or illness that occur while overseas.


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