Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

Tourism helps fuel growth in the UAE

The eyes of the world are on the Emirates and its tourism sector this week as the World Travel and Tourism Council takes place. The UAE must capitalise on this event.

The UAE has been investing heavily in recent years to beef up its tourism sector, and this week, a gathering of industry officials could be seen as something of a coming-out party.

As part of its economic vision for 2030, the capital is committed to building a world-class tourism infrastructure - from museums to theme parks - as well as developing cultural experiences to attract more people to the country. Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority has been hosting several events and activities to promote Abu Dhabi as a major cultural and tourism destination.

And yesterday, as The National reported, the World Travel and Tourism Council kicked off its 13th annual gathering of the minds with a keynote address by Bill Clinton, the former US president, in Abu Dhabi. The summit, organised by TCA in collaboration with Etihad Airways, explores issues related to the travel and tourism industry.

For the United Arab Emirates, the focus on tourism-related business is part of a comprehensive strategy to build a more diversified economy. Already, tourism related sectors - hotel stays, airline tickets and jobs these industries create - contribute as much as 14 per cent to the UAE's economy (an estimated Dh194 billion in 2012).

The UAE attracts millions of visitors every year to spend their holidays or explore business opportunities. Etihad and Emirates are expanding route networks, bringing not only people to these shores but jobs in the aviation sector. The country is also a major travel destination for people from neighbouring countries such as Saudi Arabia.

But there are larger benefits to all this travel as well. Because tourism can help encourage foreign investment and sow deeper relationships between host and visitor, there is a hope that building better infrastructure will also attract investors. In 2010 alone, business events contributed by Dh2.4 billion (US$653 million) into the capital economy. Over time, regional visitors eyeing markets for expansion will, we believe, consider the UAE in their plans.

The eyes of the world are on the Emirates and its tourism sector this week. With careful planning, this new attention will last well after the industry executives depart.

Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 Marina Square apartments Reem Island: Q1 2% rise. Studio - Dh65-68,000. 1BR - Dh75-95,000. 2BR - Dh110-145,000. 3BR - Dh170-190,000. Q1 2013-Q1 2014 no change. Sammy Dallal / The National

In pictures: Where Abu Dhabi rents have risen and fallen, Q1 2014

Find out how rental prices in the prime locations in Abu Dhabi have altered during the first three months of the year and the current rates you will pay according to data provided by Asteco.

 This comparison image shown on Reddit annotated the objects with vehicles from the movies.

What Star Wars fans say is going on in Abu Dhabi’s desert

We may still not know exactly what The National caught pictures of in the Abu Dhabi desert last week, but the online community has had plenty to say. Here are some of the best bits.

 Courtesy Al Ittihad

Time frame: It’s all going swimmingly

Built on what was originally a public park, Ain Al Faida - the flowing source - became one of the country’s first resort hotels when it opened in the mid 1970s.

 The iconic Kingdom Tower project in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Above ground work is set to begin on the tower which is expected to be taller than Dubai’s Burj Khalifa. Rendering courtesy EC Harris/Mace

Saudi’s Kingdom Tower set to go skywards as it aims for world’s tallest building tag

Above ground construction work due to start next week in Jeddah, after months of testing and preparation work.

 Jia Ruhan sings as a guest artist during a concert by the pianist Robert Wells concert in 2012. The Chinese soprano is being groomed by the government to become an international pop star as a way of increasing its global influence through ‘soft power’.

In pictures: Meet China’s Jia Ruhan, no ordinary pop star

Jia Ruhan is being groomed by Chinese authorities to become a global pop star as a way of expand its cultural influence worldwide.

 Screen shot from Vin Deisel's facebook page of he and Michelle Rodriguez in Abu Dhabi for the filming of Fast & Furious 7. April 2014

Fast & Furious in Abu Dhabi, a social media frenzy

Fast & Furious 7 wraps up an eventful and much-anticipated week of filming in the capital. Let's take a look at what went on via the key players' social media, while they were enjoying the delights of the desert.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National