The UAE’s travel and tourism industry is now worth Dh63.2 billion (S17 billion), according to industry estimates.
The Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, quoting statistics from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), said estimated growth of 2.5 per cent will add D107.6 billion to the economy over the next decade, clearing the way for the industry to play a key role in the capital’s oil-dominated economy.
During 2004, the industry had been forecast to generate revenues worth $17 billion and contribute Dh3.7 billion, or 1.1 per cent, to the GDP, and this would rise in nominal terms to Dh6.9 billion by 2014, it said.
Total capital investment the industry received during 2004 was 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.
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. Government expenditure on creating travel and tourism facilities, infrastructure and services is over Dh1 billion annually.