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UAE leisure sector to attract 45 million visitors by 2021

UAE leisure sector to attract 45 million visitors by 2021
June 23, 2015

The United Arab Emirate's leisure market will attract 45 million visitors by 2021, according to a new report by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

The report from the international consultancy says that international tourists will account for 30 million, while residents and friends and relatives of residents will account for a further 15 million.

The study by PwC Middle East’s Head of Hospitality and Leisure Philip Shepherd examines the factors behind the recent growth of tourism in the UAE, and the key considerations for the country in future.

It claims the UAE is on track to rival cities such as Orlando in Florida,USA; Singapore and Hong Kong as a global theme park destination, once schemes such as Dubai Parks & Resorts huge entertainment park in Jebel Ali opens in 2017.

In May, Dubai Parks & Resorts announced the completion of almost 50% of the infrastructure required for the $2.9bn theme park complex and said it had begun receiving the equipment for the rides.

PwC’s report noted that the UAE’s central location - within eight hours of six billion people - provides a particular advantage to transform the industry, and it is adding five full-scale theme parks in the next three years.

Commenting on the report, Shepherd, a PwC partner and stated “the UAE has come a long way to realise its global ambition of becoming a leisure and entertainment hub and rival Orlando, which is the current market leader.

“The country has recognised that it needs to continue investment and focus on the quality of attractions, as well as appeal to a diverse visitor base from across the world.

“Coordination between the emirates is essential for success, (as is) enabling visitors to enjoy multiple attractions.

“Offering multi-park tickets, all inclusive packages and coordinated visitor management from booking through inbound and local transportation, hotels and attractions will be crucial.”

However, Shepherd also wrote that the UAE “cannot rely on a ‘build it and they will come’ approach”, highlighting that more investment is needed in budget-priced hotels to diversify the sector.

Overall, the UAE’s supply of hotel rooms is set to double by 2020 from approximately 100,000 rooms in 2014.

Images: Dubai Global Village (top) and Ferrari World Abu Dhabi (below). 


6th May 2015 - DUBAI VISITOR NUMBERS ROSE BY 8.2% IN 2014




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