Travel and Tourism in UAE

Travel and Tourism in UAE: The Evolution and Impact

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has steadily emerged as a global powerhouse in the realm of travel and tourism. Its strategic geographical location coupled with a rich historical heritage and modern amenities make it an irresistible destination for tourists worldwide.

The Genesis of Emirates Tourism Council

In January 2021, the UAE Government sanctioned the establishment of the Emirates Tourism Council. The council’s mandate includes formulating a comprehensive tourism strategy that aligns with UAE’s broader national objectives and the ambitious UAE Centennial 2071 vision.

The council shoulders the responsibility of revamping tourism-related policies and legislation, fostering the growth of the tourism sector, and encouraging investments in the industry. It also aims to boost the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) functioning in the tourism sector.

The Council’s Composition

The council comprises key local authorities and departments, including but not limited to:

  • Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi
  • Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing – Dubai
  • Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority
  • Ajman Tourism Development Department
  • Department of Tourism and Archaeology Umm Al Quwain
  • Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority
  • Fujairah Tourism and Antiquities Authority

These members collectively strive to bolster the UAE’s tourism sector.

The Economic Impact of Tourism

The travel and tourism sector has significantly contributed to the UAE’s economy. In 2016, the sector directly accounted for 5.2% of the UAE’s GDP, amounting to AED 68.5 billion. The World Travel and Tourism Council predicts that this contribution will increase to 5.4% by 2027.

Moreover, the tourism sector supported 317,500 jobs in 2016, accounting for 5.4% of total employment. This figure is expected to rise to 5.9% by 2027, creating 410,000 jobs.

In terms of investment, the travel and tourism sector attracted AED 26.2 billion in 2016. This figure is projected to rise by 11% per annum over the next ten years, reaching AED 74.5 billion in 2027.

An Overview of Tourism Statistics

In 2016, the Emirate of Abu Dhabi alone hosted 4,440,314 guests in its hotels, marking an 8% increase from the previous year. Dubai, on the other hand, welcomed 14.9 million overnight visitors, a 5% rise from the prior year.

These figures highlight the increasing popularity of the UAE as a tourist destination, with each Emirate contributing significantly to the overall tourism landscape.

Tourism Initiatives

The UAE Government has launched several initiatives to stimulate the travel and tourism sector. These include the Dubai Tourism Strategy 2020, Sustainable Tourism Development in Abu Dhabi, and the Ajman Strategic Plan for Tourism 2015-2021.

These initiatives aim to enhance the customer experience, promote sustainability, and improve operational effectiveness, thereby making the UAE an attractive tourism destination.

The Role of Gulf Reps Ltd

Gulf Reps Ltd is a leading player in the Middle Eastern travel and tourism industry. With over 60 years of experience, they offer a broad suite of services including destination marketing, hotel representation, airline representation, and resort marketing.

Their services are designed to showcase the allure of destinations to discerning Middle Eastern tourists. They also have a dedicated PR team that liaises with local and international media outlets, ensuring maximum media coverage for their clients.

Gulf Reps Ltd also organizes Fam trips that provide a comprehensive experience of various destinations. These trips generate awareness and engagement, which are measured meticulously to gauge impact.

In the digital space, Gulf Reps Ltd excels in email marketing, social media, and paid advertising. They deliver campaigns that align with their clients’ brand guidelines and exceed conventional metrics to show tangible results.


The travel and tourism sector in the UAE has evolved significantly over the years. The formation of the Emirates Tourism Council and the launch of various tourism initiatives reflect the government’s commitment to bolstering this sector.

The role of firms like Gulf Reps Ltd cannot be understated. Their comprehensive suite of services, including destination marketing, hotel representation, and Fam trips, play a crucial role in promoting global travel and tourism endeavors.

As the UAE continues on its journey to become a global tourism hub, it will be exciting to see what the future holds for travel and tourism in the UAE.