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Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Ras Al Khaimah Drive UAE Tourism to Record Levels, WTTC Figures Show

Travel and tourism in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has surged to record levels, and is fully expected to keep growing apace, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC).

According to WTTC research, the sector grew by 26% last year, contributing a record AED220bn to the UAE economy and representing nearly 12% of the economy.

The popularity of destinations like Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Ras Al Khaimah have boosted job numbers in UAE tourism, meaning that one-in-nine workers now are employed within the tourism sector.

International visitor spend rose by nearly 40% last year to AED175bn.

Julia Simpson, WTTC President & CEO said: “The UAE’s Travel & Tourism sector has not only recovered; it soared to new heights, establishing itself as a cornerstone of the nation’s economic landscape.

“The remarkable growth in both employment and visitor spending is a testament to the UAE’s strategic vision and commitment to enhancing its Travel & Tourism. As the sector continues to set benchmarks for the global travel industry, it underscores the importance of sustainable and inclusive strategies in driving prosperity.”

The WTTC now expects tourism’s contribution to UAE GDP to reach over AED236bn this year and up to AED275bn by 2034.

Geoff Percival
Geoff Percival
Geoff has worked in business, news, consumer and travel journalism for more than 25 years; having worked for and contributed to the likes of The Irish Examiner, Business & Finance, Business Plus, The Sunday Times, The Irish News, Senior Times, and The Sunday Tribune.

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