Tourism contributed 11.1% of the United Arab Emirates’ economy last year.
The statistic was revealed in the World Travel & Tourism Council’s (WTTC) annual review of the sector’s social importance and economic impact.
In 2018, tourism contributed as much as AED164.7bn to the local economy.
The sector now accounts for as much as 11.1% of the total economy of the UAE.
This means that tourism generates one out of every nine dirhams in the country.
The WTTC research compares the sector with 185 countries and shows that the tourism sector in the UAE grew by as much as 2.4%.
The sector was supporting 612,000 jobs – 9.6% of all employment in the UAE in 2018.
This means that tourism is supporting nearly one out of every ten UAE jobs.
Leisure travellers were the main driver of tourism – 77% of tourism spending came from leisure visitors in comparison to just 23% from business travellers.
The UAE sector is strongly weighted in favour of international travel – 77% of tourism spending was from tourists from overseas, with domestic travel accounting for just 23%.
The WTTC’s chief executive Gloria Guevara says that the UAE has become one of global tourism’s great success stories over the course of the last few years.
The face of world aviation has been changed by Emirates and Etihad, with one of the greatest hubs in the world now being Dubai International Airport, according to Guevara.
Guevara also says that UAE hotels are now proliferating in the rest of the region and throughout the world.
This story of amazing influence and growth will continue with the arrival of Ras Al Khaimah, which has become one of the most exciting emerging destinations in the world, Guevara adds.
On 2nd October, the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority will be the host of the World Travel & Tourism Council Middle East & North Africa Leaders Forum 2019.
Key leaders in the industry are to be brought together by the event in order to talk about the main issues that face the tourism sector in the region.
This is the first time that the region has organised the event, which is being staged at the Al Hamra International Exhibition & Conference Centre.
The event will bring together industry associations, senior leaders and chief executives of the top companies in the travel and tourism industry, government agencies, and many of the region’s media.
The forum is set to explore the contemporary issues that the sector is facing and ways that the regional agenda can be advanced by opportunities for growth.
Anyone who is planning to travel locally or internationally to or from the UAE should take out travel insurance.
Travel insurance is a great way to ensure that you do not end up out of pocket financially due to circumstances beyond your control, such as the cancellation of flights or the theft of personal items.
Travel insurance also offers financial protection against the possibility of falling ill while away from home.