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UAE’s booming tourism sector a success story in economic diversification, say industry experts

UAE’s booming tourism sector a success story in economic diversification, say industry experts
8 May 2024 08:00

MAYS IBRAHIM (ABU DHABI)

Through significant investments in the tourism sector, the UAE has established itself as a leading global destination, attracting millions of visitors from around the world with its blend of modern amenities and cultural experiences, according to tour operators.

Industry experts interviewed by Aletihad on the sidelines of the Arabian Travel Market in Dubai agreed that the sector plays a vital role in the nation’s economic diversification efforts. They also noted that efforts towards sustainable tourism, coupled with initiatives to preserve the country’s cultural heritage, further enhance its appeal to global travellers.

John Bevan, DSVP (Divisional Senior Vice President) for Dnata Travel Group, emphasised the UAE’s continuous growth trajectory in tourism, stating that the country has displayed “remarkable” resilience post-COVID.

Reflecting on the UAE’s economic diversification efforts, Bevan underlined tourism’s pivotal role. 
“Tourism is one of the largest non-oil sectors in the UAE, and a key pillar of its economy, enjoying a massive boom and heavy infrastructural investments, driven by the forward vision of the country’s leadership,” he said. An example of that is the new Dh128 billion passenger terminal at Dubai World Central - Al Maktoum International, he added.

Aside from its rich cultural heritage, modern infrastructure, and diverse landscapes, safety is one of the main components that make the UAE an “ideal” tourism destination, marked by low crime rates and strong law enforcement, according to Bevan. He noted that the “seamless” level of service in the tourism industry in the UAE is “second to none”. 

Bevan commended the UAE’s tourism authorities for their adept marketing strategies tailored to different markets.

Fahim Jalali, the Divisional CEO for Kanoo Travels, emphasised the UAE’s inclusive approach to tourism catering to various socioeconomic groups and demographics.

He commended the UAE’s leadership for their visionary strategies, making the country a welcoming destination for all.

“I think the boom in the UAE’s tourism sector is reflective of the forward thinking vision and comprehensive strategies implemented by the  wise leadership of the country,” he said.

Jalali noted that the UAE government has been heavily investing in tourism for years, resulting in a substantial shift in revenue sources. He also expressed confidence in the government’s efforts to promote sustainable tourism, citing initiatives such as eco-friendly practices and incentives for hotels.

Shoaib Khan, Area Manager - Abu Dhabi at Cozmo Travel, highlighted the UAE’s safety, diverse attractions, and modern infrastructure as key factors driving tourism growth. The country’s cultural heritage and the warm hospitality of its people are also primary draws for visitors, according to Khan.

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