Latest News

Back to Latest News back


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




Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.


supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all

Goplay Commercial Playground Equipment

Goplay designs and manufactures specialised playground equipment for indoor play centres, hotels, food chains, clubs and resorts. If our years of experience and dedication have taught us one thing,…

read more




Solarwise NSW / Dolphin Tech were the first and are the largest Dolphin dealer in NSW with a full service facility and full range of spare parts "on the shelf". We also provide on site…

read more

Aquatics / Venues


Abel Sports

INTRODUCTION Abel Sports is Australia’s leading manufacturer and suppliers of Goal Posts, sports ground safety netting systems and coaches boxes for Stadiums ,Sports Clubs, Councils and…

read more

Recreation / Sport / Venues


TJS Services

TJS Services is a leading national facility services provider. We deliver quality cleaning, maintenance, construction and facility management services to over 1,500 sites Australia wide.  Our…

read more

Hospitality / Retail / Venues


Pico Play

Pico is a global leader in Total Brand Activation. We specialise in engaging people, creating experiences and activating brands. Leveraging a track record in experience design that spans half a…

read more

Attractions / Consultants / Design / Recreation / Venues


Perfect Gym

Perfect Gym Solutions is a software as a service (SaaS) solution purpose-built to service the fitness industry, with over 1000 clients servicing over 2 million gym members across 40 countries making…

read more

Access / Fitness / Marketing / Recreation / Technology



ICP is an Australian-based company focused on indoor climbing. ICP will manage your project from initial design to completion and beyond, whether you're building an international-level climbing…

read more

Attractions / Fitness / Recreation


get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business