Larry Brain - Apr 22, 2024
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BMI Research has predicted that inbound tourism to the UAE will increase by 14.4% this year to reach 28.5 million visitors. This is a significant increase from the 24.9 million visitors in 2023, considered the year of the industry's full recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, international tourism revenues are expected to grow 9.7% this year, reaching $44.5 billion. 

The increase in tourism can be attributed to the expected rise in arrivals from key UAE source markets, such as India, Saudi Arabia, the UK, China, and Oman.

The Arab World News Agency (AWP) reports that inbound tourism to the UAE is expected to keep increasing between 2024 and 2028. The growth rate is predicted to be an average of 7.1% per year, reaching 34.9 million in 2028.

According to BMI, this increase in tourist numbers will naturally lead to an increase in the UAE's international tourism revenues. These revenues, which were $40.6 billion in the previous year, are estimated to grow by 9.7% in 2024 to reach $44.5 billion. Additionally, BMI forecasts a further increase in the short to medium term, with revenues reaching $58.3 billion by 2028.

Recent data has revealed a positive outlook for the UAE's tourism sector in the medium term. The UAE is capitalizing on its reputation as a mobility hub for many global travelers. The country has marketed itself as a luxury destination in the past few years, promoting tourist attractions such as theme parks, hotels, and high-end shopping malls. This strategy is believed to strongly boost inbound tourism to the UAE in the medium term.

Abu Dhabi's tourism strategy now emphasizes promoting meetings, incentives, conferences, exhibitions (MICE), and cultural tourism. Meanwhile, Dubai primarily concentrates on creating family-friendly attractions through theme parks, shopping, and luxury hotels offering extensive leisure facilities. With its highly connected airport, Dubai attracts millions of tourists annually through its extensive regional and international travel routes.

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