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UAE’s tourism sector expects ‘strong recovery’ this winter

The surge in visitor numbers has been attributed to the momentum generated by Expo 2020 Dubai

UAE’s tourism sector expects ‘strong recovery’ this winter
[Source photo: Anvita Gupta/Fast Company Middle East]

With the upcoming FIFA World Cup expected to boost the UAE economy, it has been foreseen that the region will witness a “strong tourism recovery” this winter, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, said on Sunday during a cabinet meeting. 

During the first half of 2022, the tourism industry generated more than $5.1 billion, and in that period, there were 12 million hotel visitors, an overall increase of 42%.

According to data released in August, Dubai welcomed 7.12 million foreign visitors in the first half of 2022, almost three times the 2.52 million tourists registered during the same period in 2021. The figure takes the emirate closer to its 8.36 million arrivals in the first half of 2019, before the Covid-19 pandemic.

The momentum created by Expo 2020 Dubai and the country’s reputation as a safe travel destination were the primary drivers of the spike in visitor numbers, Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism said.

Beyond the tourism industry, the cabinet also evaluated the competitive and development indicators for the UAE, which suggested that the current growth rates are higher than before the pandemic.

The UAE now leads 156 development measures, up from 121 in 2020, and is listed among the top ten in additional 432 global metrics, up from 314 before the pandemic.

“Our indicators today are stronger than before the pandemic, our economic growth is faster, and our tourism, commercial and development sectors are larger than before the pandemic,” Sheikh Mohammed tweeted.


The UAE cabinet has also approved the procedures of temporary licensing to operate electric cargo aircraft.

“We have approved in the Council of Ministers the temporary licence for the first cargo plane in the region that operates on completely clean electric energy and without any emissions — an important step that may contribute to changing the future of the shipping sector and its environmental impacts,” Sheikh Mohammed said.

According to a recent study by Dublin-based consultancy Research and Markets, the market for all-electric aircraft will increase by 14% to about $20 billion by 2030 from $6 billion last year.

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