UAE: Tourists spend reaches $27.4 bn in 2021

The highest among the GCC markets
UAE: Tourists spend reaches $27.4 bn in 2021
Dubai skyline. (Image courtesy: Dubai Media Office Twitter handle)

The UAE remains the top destination for travel and tourism in the region, with visitor expenditures reaching nearly $30 billion in 2021 alone, according to a new report.

Leisure and business visitors in the UAE spent a total of $27.4 billion in 2021, the highest among the GCC markets, investment banking advisory Alpen Capital said in its latest GCC Hospitality Report.

Saudi Arabia came second with total spending pegged at $22.2 billion, followed by Qatar ($16.5 billion), Kuwait ($5.5 billion), Oman ($3.5 billion), and Bahrain ($3 billion).

Both the UAE and Saudi Arabia cumulatively accounted for more than 64 percent of the total travel and tourism spending within the region last year.

On the other hand, the UAE also had the highest share of the total leisure tourism spending in the region last year at 34.1 percent, followed by Saudi Arabia (33.2 percent) and Qatar (19.8 percent).

Visitor traffic to the UAE has been rising on the back of easing COVID-19 restrictions.

From January to July, the number of international visitors arriving in Dubai alone nearly tripled to 8.1 million from 2.85 million a year ago.

The travel and tourism sector in the UAE bounced back strongly, achieving the third fastest growth in the Middle East region last year, according to World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC).

The sector recovered by 41.1 percent in 2021 in UAE, supported by a 48.8 percent increase in revenues from international visitors, the global body said in its latest “Travel and Tourism Economic Impact 2022” report.

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