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In Q1 2022, the UAE tourism sector outperforms pre-pandemic growth rates

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Dr. Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Entrepreneurship and SMEs and Chairman of the UAE Tourist Council, announced that the UAE’s tourism sector hit a new growth milestone in Q1 2022, demonstrating the country’s regional and worldwide competitiveness.

He credited the sector’s recent success to the UAE’s wise leadership’s unwavering support and directions, as well as its interest in this critical sector, which he described as “one of the future sectors and a significant focal area in the UAE’s growth blueprint for the next 50 years.”

The Minister added that during the first quarter of this year, the national tourism sector outperformed growth rates not just in 2020 and 2021, but even in the same period last year, which was a record year.

“It has been one of the best years in terms of economic growth in general and tourism in particular, and this underpins the sector’s strong comeback owing to the UAE’s smart administration’s forward-thinking strategy,” he stated.

Equally significant were coordinated national efforts to enhance national tourism, create a supportive environment and integrated incentives for the development of tourism products, provide enough tourism infrastructure in the country, and focus on the delivery of high-value-added services.

According to tourist statistics for the first quarter of 2022, the country’s hotel businesses welcomed approximately 6 million guests who spent 25 million hotel nights, an increase of 10% over the same time in 2019. During that time, the average length of hotel guest stays increased by 25%.

Furthermore, the country’s hotel occupancy rate increased by 80 percent during this time, making it one of the highest in the world. Hotel establishments also generated AED 11 billion in total income, up 20% from the same period last year, and resumed operations at full capacity of about 200,000 hotel rooms.

In addition, inward tourism flows from overseas markets enjoyed a revival and a significant recovery in Q1 2022, with hotel businesses in various emirates hosting nearly 4 million international tourists. The top international tourism destinations were India, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom, Russia, and the United States of America.

These figures, according to Al Falasi, demonstrate the UAE’s tourist product’s strength, as well as the UAE’s innovative services and appealing tourism destinations, as well as its advanced tourism infrastructure. They also represent visitors’ rising trust in the UAE’s tourism industry and the UAE’s reputation as a safe and welcoming country capable of providing a diverse and memorable tourism experience.

He also emphasized the importance of the significant events hosted by the UAE in recent months in bolstering the sector. Expo 2020 Dubai, which attracted more than 24 million visitors over six months, and the second iteration of the ‘World’s Coolest Winter’ campaign, which produced a total revenue of $1 billion in one and a half months.

He also praised the efforts of relevant authorities, local tourism agencies, and the country’s strong collaboration with the tourism business sector, which were critical in attaining these great achievements. He also emphasized the importance of greater role integration among tourism development agencies in realizing the UAE’s vision in this area and providing the best tourism services and products to both domestic and international travelers.

These measures are critical in cementing the UAE’s status as a preferred and sustainable tourism, investment, and project destination, he noted.