Dubai can be called one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. People come here from all over the world, but, of course, the attraction of the emirate is not limited to the possibilities of recreational tourism – businessmen, scientists, doctors, specialists of the most diverse fields of knowledge come to Dubai with their personal and professional goals.
First of all, the tourism industry is one of the fundamental branches of the economy of the emirate: in many ways the rapid economic development of Dubai can be considered its merit.
The sector receives great support from the government: the authorities pay increased attention to the development of the industry and make various efforts to stimulate its further growth.
At the moment, the activity of officials and players in the tourism and hospitality market of Dubai is aimed at ensuring a steady influx of guests into the emirate: the main goal is to attract at least 20 million tourists annually, starting from 2020.
One of the most important steps for achieving this was the change in the visa regime in the UAE. For example, from the beginning of 2017, Russian and Chinese citizens can obtain an Arabic visa directly upon arrival at the airport, without preliminary registration. It is no accidently that the change in the visa regime was made for these categories of tourists: both the Chinese and Russians showed an extremely high interest in visiting Dubai, which was the reason for simplifying the procedure for their entry into the country. Only in the first 9 months of 2017 the number of Russian tourists in the emirate increased by 95%, in connection with which Russia became the fastest growing directing market for the tourism industry in Dubai. The growth of the number of Chinese tourists in the emirate at the same time was 60%.
In order to effectively work with such a sharp increase in tourism indicators, the authorities pay increased attention to the development of transport infrastructure, especially in the air transport sector. The increase in the capacity of the airports in the emirate, as well as the expansion of the range of airline operations, has a beneficial effect on the tourist experience and the level of satisfaction with the trip to Dubai: today the emirate can be quickly and easily accessed from virtually anywhere in the world. In addition, the government of the emirate is engaged in supporting cruise tourism – considering that during the tourist season in 2016-17, the number of cruise tourists in the emirate has increased by 15% and reached 625 thousand people, the authorities expect to increase this figure to one million people by 2020.
In Dubai, hotels of the largest international operators are widely represented, adapted to the actual needs of guests and taking into account the cultural differences of the guests. The variety of the hotel real estate market provides a comfortable rest for any category of tourists – today 33% of the hotels in the emirate belong to the premium segment, while 23% of the market belongs to four-star hotels, and the share of hotels and apartment complexes with a three-star rating accounts for 21% of all offers. Thus, regardless of their budget and personal preferences, any tourist can expect a first-class holiday in Dubai.
Let’s go to the figures.
Spheres of tourism and hospitality will bring to the economic of the United Arab Emirates 72.6 billion dirhams (US $ 19.8 billion) in 2018, which is 5% higher than the year before. In addition, according to the forecast of the World Council for Travel and Tourism, by 2028 the volume of tourism will grow to 108.4 billion dirhams (US $ 29.5 billion).
In 2017, the share of the tourism sector in the UAE’s GDP was 5.1%, or 69.1 billion dirhams (US $ 18.9 billion), by 2028 its share will be 4.9%, and the annual growth is projected at 4.1 %. Direct contribution reflects the economic activity of hotels, travel companies, air and transport companies.
In addition, the hospitality sector provides the UAE 380 thousand jobs, it involved 4.9% of all residents of the country. By 2028 their number will grow to 396 thousand people.
In terms of investments, in 2017, the hospitality sector invested 25.4 billion dirhams (US $ 6.9 billion), or 8% of the total amount of all investments made. Globally, the tourism sector of the UAE is the 27th largest in the world, the 74th – by profitability (according to the latest indicator in 2018, it will rise to 60th place).