Friday, May 31, 2024

UAE’s travel industry set to create 23,600 new jobs in 2024

The travel and tourism sector in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is experiencing remarkable growth despite global challenges, such as the Israel-Gaza conflict and the lingering effects of the pandemic. According to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), the sector is projected to create an additional 23,600 jobs in 2024, reaching a total of approximately 833,000 jobs. This growth is significant, representing a 2.9% increase from the previous year and a remarkable 14.7% increase from 2019, before the pandemic disrupted the industry worldwide.

One of the key drivers of this growth is the expected increase in tourist spending. International visitor spending in the UAE is projected to grow by 9.5% year-on-year, reaching nearly Dh192 billion ($52.2 billion) in 2024. Additionally, domestic visitor spending is forecasted to increase by 4.3%, totaling Dh58 billion. These figures underscore the UAE’s appeal as a destination for both international and domestic travelers, fueled by attractions such as the world’s tallest building, luxurious hotels, and cultural institutions like the Louvre museum in Abu Dhabi.

The contribution of the travel and tourism sector to the UAE’s gross domestic product (GDP) is also substantial. In 2024, it is estimated to reach Dh236.4 billion, accounting for 12% of the total economy. This represents a 7.6% increase from the previous year and a remarkable 23% increase compared to pre-pandemic levels in 2019. Such robust growth underscores the resilience and importance of the travel and tourism industry to the UAE’s overall economic landscape.

Several factors contribute to the positive outlook for the UAE’s travel sector. These include the ease of travel through its airports, sensible visa policies, diverse tourism offerings, and opportunities for business travel. Notably, the anticipated return of Chinese visitors in larger numbers is expected to further bolster the sector. Chinese visitors, who were once among the top visitors to the UAE but dropped off the top five in recent years, are expected to make a comeback, driven by improvements in China’s airline capacity.

The UAE’s ambitious national tourism strategy, announced in November 2022, also plays a pivotal role in shaping the sector’s growth trajectory. The strategy aims to significantly increase the sector’s contribution to the GDP, attract millions of hotel guests, and stimulate tourism investment in the country by 2031. These targets reflect the government’s commitment to positioning the UAE as a premier global tourism destination and driving sustainable economic growth.

In addition to these strategic initiatives, Dubai International Airport’s continued status as the world’s busiest international hub underscores the UAE’s importance as a global travel hub. The airport’s record-breaking passenger numbers in 2023, coupled with Dubai’s best-ever annual tourism performance, further highlight the resilience and attractiveness of the UAE’s travel and tourism sector on the global stage.

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