UAE tourism industry set for robust growth
THE travel and tourism industry in the UAE is expected to generate economic activity amounting to Dh63.2 billion during the year 2004 according to the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Quoting a report by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), an estimated growth of 2.5 percent will add Dh107.6 billion to the economy over the next decade, clearing the way for the industry to take a centre stage in the oil-dominated economy.
During 2004, the industry is expected to contribute Dh3.7 billion, or 1.1 per cent, to the GDP, rising in nominal terms to Dh6.9 billion by 2014. Total capital investment the industry may receive during 2004 is estimated at Dh19.7 billion, or 28 per cent of the country’s total investment. By 2014, this figure is projected to reach Dh33.1 billion, or 29.1 per cent of the total.
The assessments of the WTTC were based on projections and expectations of the UAE’s booming travel and tourism industry. The UAE has been ranked 39th in the world as a tourist hotspot out of 179 countries reviewed, for providing products and services amounting to $17.203 billion. The country ranked second in the Middle East after Saudi Arabia’s $22.501 billion trade.
In terms of real growth, the UAE will reach 6.1 per cent growth, finding place at 128th position in the category of annual growth. The country has a world ranking of 93 from a total of 171 countries rated as far as capital investment in the sector is concerned, the report said.
With tourism investments amounting to $5.364 billion, the UAE ranks first in the Gulf and Middle East and 24th in the world.
The industry’s direct impact on the economy is also huge, contributing as it does, Dh23.779 billion in jobs, representing 1.6 per cent of total employment, besides contributing Dh3.7 billion in services to the GDP, equivalent to 1.1 per cent of total GDP. Since the travel and tourism industry has a multiplier impact on all sectors of the economy, its real impact is even bigger, said the report. The government expenditure on creating travel and tourism related facilities, infrastructure and services is over Dh1 billion annually.