UAE projects tourism sector growth at 12 percent to GDP in 2024

By Arya M Nair, Official Reporter
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Rep.Image | Courtesy: UNWTO

The UAE’s tourism sector has contributed $60 billion to the GDP in 2023, accounting for 11.7 percent of the overall economy, this upward trend is expected to continue in 2024, with projections indicating the sector will reach $64.2 billion and account for an even greater share of the GDP at 12 percent, UN said at tourism meeting.

The three-day UN Tourism 50th Regional Commission Meeting for the Middle East in Omani capital, Muscat, Khaled Al Midfa, Chairman of Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA), who led the UAE delegation to the meeting, said the tourism sector played a significant role in generating 809,000 job opportunities across various tourism activities and fields in the UAE in 2023. Projections indicate that the number of job opportunities will increase to 833,000 in 2024.

Al Midfa added that the UAE Tourism Strategy’s ultimate goals seek to increase the sector’s contribution to the country’s GDP to $122 billion by 2031, attract new investment in the tune of $27.2 billion to the sector and welcome 40 million guests to the country’s hotels by the next decade.

Opening the conference, H.E. Salim Mohammed Al Mahruqi, Minister of Heritage and Tourism for Oman, acknowledged the importance of investments for growing tourism both in the Sultanate and across the Middle East and for building a more resilient and sustainable sector at every level.

UN Tourism Executive Director Natalia Bayona, who gave a keynote speech outlining investment trends and opportunities in the region, said that, “The Middle East now stands as a beacon of tourism innovation and investments. The region invested almost $14 billion in the sector over the past 5 years, with $341 million of this invested in tourism tech, demonstrating the region’s commitment to building a more digital and impactful sector.”

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