New Report Available: United Arab Emirates Tourism Report Q4 2013

From: Fast Market Research, Inc.
Published: Fri Dec 06 2013

This report examines the significant long-term potential offered by the tourism industry in the UAE, but highlights the potential downward pressure that regional uncertainty could have on arrival numbers as the political landscape changes. In recent years, ongoing political instability across the Middle East and North Africa has greatly benefited destinations that are considered 'safe havens' for both leisure travellers and investors, such as the UAE.

This quarter, BMI has expanded its data set for the UAE tourism industry. Previously, our data only covered Dubai, but our new data sets now include information for Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Fujairah. This will allow us to generate more comprehensive forecasts for the tourism industry moving forward.

Over the past quarter, BMI has become more optimistic on the outlook for UAE's tourism industry. Consequently, we have made upward revisions to our forecasts for tourist arrivals and tourist receipts. For 2013, we forecast a 10% increase in arrivals, to 14.13mn. This will then rise by a further 33.8% between end-2013 and end-2017, to reach a total of 18.91mn arrivals across Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Fujairah.

Full Report Details at

On the tourism receipts front, we target 11% expansion (in US dollar terms) over 2013, to reach the US $10bn mark for the first time. Over the remainder of our forecast period, we expect additional growth, in the order of 9% per annum, to reach some US$14bn by 2017.

Looking at inbound tourism flows to UAE by region, the Middle East looks set to remain the largest single source market, although its share of total arrivals will fall slightly, from 33.4% in 2013, to 32.2% by 2017. Taking a greater market share over our forecast period is Asia-Pacific, with arrivals set to rise from 2.85mn in 2013 to 4mn in 2017. This reflects the growing wealth of Asia, coupled with increased business travel and significant numbers of expatriate workers coming to UAE from nations like India and Pakistan. China should also prove an increasingly important source market for inbound tourism.

The hospitality sector looks set to grow in tandem with tourist arrivals. Given our new expanded data set, BMI now believes that an extra 150 hotels and accommodation establishments will be built in UAE by 2017. This will equate to some 39,080 extra rooms for the overall national supply, reflecting the large size of many of the new hotels currently under construction across the Emirates. Occupancy rates will also remain strong, remaining above 70% mark across our forecast period to 2017, and underlining the strong demand for accommodation within UAE at the present time.

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