UAE tourism sector set to boost GDP share to $64.26 billion in 2024

National Tourism Strategy 2031 aims to increase the contribution of the UAE tourism sector to the national GDP to Dh450 billion

The buoyant tourism sector’s contribution to the UAE’s national economy is expected to rise to Dh236 billion in 2024, positioning the country right on track to achieve its goal of boosting tourism’s GDP share to Dh450 billion by 2031, according to the country’s Minister of Economy.

Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri, speaking at the World Economic Forum in Riyadh, said the tourism sectors’ share in the country’s gross domestic product grew by a significant 26 per cent in 2023 compared to that of 2022 and surpassed 2019 levels by 14 per cent.

Tourism’s contribution to the country’s GDP amounted to Dh220 billion, accounting for 11.7 per cent. “This is expected to rise in 2024 to Dh236 billion, equivalent to 12 per cent of the country’s GDP,” he said, quoting a recent report by the World Travel and Tourism Council.

The minister, who led the UAE delegation at the Riyadh forum, said the National Tourism Strategy 2031 aims to increase the contribution of the UAE tourism sector to the national GDP to Dh450 billion, raising the country’s profile as the best tourism identity by the next decade.“Besides, through the launch of the National Sustainable Aviation Fuel Roadmap, the country has set an ambitious target to achieve annual production of up to 700 million litres of sustainable aviation fuel by 2030,” Al Marri said at the conference titled “International Cooperation, Growth, and Energy for Development.”

“In addition, this vital sector provided 809,000 jobs in various activities and tourism fields in the country in 2023, equivalent to 12.3 per cent of the total labour market. With five per cent growth from 2022, exceeding 2019 levels with 11.4 per cent growth, the number of jobs it creates is expected to reach 833,000 in 2024. There are currently 1,235 hotels in the UAE providing a total of 210,000 rooms for guests and visitors,” Al Marri said.

The minister noted that efforts are underway in collaboration with other GCC partners to launch the unified GCC tourist visa. “Once it comes into effect, it will contribute to highlighting the diverse tourism destinations in GCC countries, attracting and retaining tourists for longer periods, thus increasing the number of hotel guests and making the region one of the leading destinations for regional and international tourists alike.”

“The UAE is committed to promoting sustainability, not just in the tourism industry but across diverse economic and environmental sectors, safeguarding resources, wealth, and natural reserves,” he said, emphasising that sustainability is key to boosting the tourism sector’s growth in the immediate future, particularly given the current global environmental and social challenges. “It calls for strengthening collaborative efforts across all fronts and levels to attain a harmony between economic and environmental progress as well as social accountability.” The minister also stressed the importance of ecotourism in supporting the sustainability of the tourism sector and preserving natural reserves and desert attractions.

The minister highlighted the UAE’s commitment to enhancing the regional and global tourism infrastructure to ensure the sustainability of the sector. He indicated that there are challenges ahead for sustainable tourism, most notably the necessity to upskill the workforce, improving their performance and expertise in tourism, and fostering innovation and creativity across various tourism fields and activities.

The UAE, the minister added, attaches significant importance to the tourism sector, recognising it as a key contributor to national economic growth and enhancing its competitiveness and diversity. “The country has successfully highlighted its tourism diversity in the past phase, promoting the unique features and characteristics of all seven emirates, with the aim of attracting more global companies to its markets. These achievements encourage national and foreign investments in tourism projects, thereby consolidating the UAE’s position on the travel and tourism landscape at regional and global levels.”

Source: khaleejtimes

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button