UAE Government Annual Meetings Adopt 3 Initiatives in the Tourism Sector
The Second UAE Government Annual Meetings, held in Abu Dhabi, adopted three initiatives aimed at enhancing the tourism sector in the UAE.
His Excellency Sultan Al Mansoori, Minister of Economy, said that the tourism sector is among the priorities on the UAE Development Agenda, as it is a main pillar in the economic diversification and preparation for the post-oil economy. During the session on tourism, discussions reflected the UAE's commitment to boost the efforts of the federal and local entities to develop this sector and enhance its competitiveness in a way that serves the strategic objectives and vision of the UAE 2021.
H.E. Al Mansoori added that the Tourism Working Group focused on discussing and adopting three major initiatives on developing the tourism capabilities in the UAE. The National Tourism Development Strategy focuses on forecasting the future, enhancing innovation and technology usage, and aims to achieve tourism sustainability. This would support local and federal goals and guarantee the sustainability of the tourism sector in the future, in light of the rapid changes and the rising global competitiveness. The strategy aims at analyzing the current situation of tourism in the UAE, identifying the scope of work and the expected results, as well as organizing workshops with the stakeholders and the tourism sector leaders.
The meeting also announced the launch of the UAE Tourism Identity initiative that aims at developing a new touristic identity to support the UAE vision for tourism, and promoting the country as the first tourism destination worldwide. The meeting also adopted the Tourism Sector Development Initiative that includes conducting a detailed analysis to review the fees and taxes imposed on the UAE tourism sector. It further aims to furnish recommendations that would support the UAE governmental trends, growth sustainability, and ease of conducting business.
The meeting discussed the means of enhancing the performance of the relevant parties in the tourism sector and boost cooperation among them to enhance the UAE’s position on the global competitiveness indicators. It is worth mentioning that the UAE ranked 29th on the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index, as highlighted in the World Economic Forum Report in 2017.
Participants emphasized the importance of adopting future global trends by focusing on responsible tourism and sustainability. In addition, they pinpointed the need to instill this culture in the local touristic destinations, focusing on innovation and digital transformation to increase revenues and growth, and promote opportunities for small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
Vital Economic Sector
Tourism is one of the key pillars of the UAE economy and its future strategy to diversify the sources of income. This vital sector contributes to the UAE’s GDP with approximately 161 billion AED, and is forecasted to surge by 3.9% per annum to reach AED 234.2 billion by 2028, i.e. 10.6% of the GDP.
The UAE has managed to establish the key components that drive growth in the tourism sector by ranking first globally in the indices related to travel and tourism priorities for the government, the sustainability and development of the tourism and travel sector, the effectiveness of marketing and attracting tourists, the quality of tourism infrastructure, the presence and availability of major car rental companies, and the Road Quality Index. The UAE also ranked second worldwide on the Security and Safety Index and the third on the Aviation Infrastructure Index.