Stock Dubai skyline
Hotels achieved earnings totalling Dh11 billion in the first quarter of 2022, an increase of 20 per cent. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Abu Dhabi: The UAE is continuing to maintain its regional and international leadership as a distinguished travel destination and a preferred country for living and working.

The country has strengthened its position on the world tourism map, becoming a top international tourism destination and a top 10 country in several competitiveness indexes related to the tourism, travel and hotels sectors in 2021.

Emirati hotels attracted nearly six million visitors who spent 25 million hotel nights in the first quarter of 2022, an increase of 10 per cent compared with the same period of 2019. Moreover, their period of stay in hotels grew by 25 per cent during the same period, while the hotel occupancy rate was 80 per cent, one of the highest internationally.

Hotels achieved earnings totalling Dh11 billion in the first quarter of 2022, an increase of 20 per cent compared to the same period in 2019. These hotels resumed activities at full capacity, totalling nearly 200,000 hotel rooms.

In terms of flights and hospitality, the number of passengers who arrived at the country’s airports exceeded 20 million in the first quarter of 2022, compared to 8.6 million in the same period of 2021, an increase of 135 per cent.

The contribution of the travel and tourism sector to the country’s GDP over the past three years was 3.4 per cent, totalling 15 per cent compared to 11.6 per cent in 2019.

These indicators underscore the growing confidence in the UAE’s tourism sector and its prominent local or international reputation, as well as the efficiency of its sustainable tourism policies and the success of its initiatives, campaigns and exhibitions aimed at supporting the tourism sector.

Internal tourism strategy

The sector witnessed an increase in spending by local tourists in 2020 which stood at 33 per cent, compared to 67 per cent by international tourists. In 2019, spending by local tourists was at 22 per cent, compared with 78 per cent by international tourists.

One of the key features of the internal tourism strategy launched in 2020 is the marketing of major natural, cultural, heritage and historical attractions in the country, as well as developing the country’s tourism services, highlighting the beauty of the tourism experience offered by each emirate, and promoting recreational, cultural and community activities to improve the attractiveness of each emirate.

The World’s Coolest Winter Campaign Tourism initiatives and programmes are a key part of the country’s internal tourism strategy. The campaign was at the forefront of these initiatives, achieving outstanding successes around the country. The second edition of the campaign, which kicked off in mid-December 2021 and lasted till the end of January 2021, recorded proceeds totalling Dh1.5 billion and attracted over 1.3 million visitors over 45 days.

Expo 2020 Dubai

The Expo attracted over 24 million visitors over six months. After Expo 2020 Dubai, Expo Dubai City will be opened in October 2022, which will make the country a new world-class destination and improve the national tourism environment, most notably in terms of business tourism.

The Museum of the Future

In February 2022, the UAE witnessed the launch of a unique tourism milestone, the Museum of the Future, which is a historical icon that features various theatres and high-tech labs.

The museum was launched under a theme that focuses on climate and education to symbolise the establishment of a prosperous future based on development and prosperity. The theme also supports the local efforts to address climate change and achieve sustainability.