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United Arab Emirates tourism market: Latest market analysis presented
Travel and Tourism in the UAE to 2017 - a new market research report on 2014-03-05 20:01:01
Tourism is a key pillar in the UAEs strategy to reduce its dependency on oil revenue. The countrys tourism strategy works in partnership with its strategy to develop cities, primarily Dubai and Abu Dhabi, as major airline hubs. As the UAE lacks natural and cultural resources, it has built its tourism sector around luxury living, shopping, exhibitions, sports and high-profile construction projects such as the Jumeirah Palm, an artificial palm-shaped archipelago. The investments paid off, as tourism now forms 13.5% of GDP. However, in line with the global economic slowdown, the UAE suffered a major decline in tourism in 2009, and while the country has made up for the loss, recovery has been slow. To boost tourism over the forecast period, the country has announced a string of high-value projects such as Mohammed Bin Rashid City, which consists of 100 hotels, the worlds biggest shopping mall and a Universal Studios theme park, and the Jebel Ali complex, which will feature five theme parks and a replica of the Taj Mahal. However, the projects face the risk of running aground due to bottlenecks in financing, a factor which could damage the countrys tourism as it relies heavily on these large-scale projects as key attractions.

Key Highlights

• In an attempt to wean the country off its dependence on oil-based revenue, the UAE has invested heavily in tourism and other related service sectors. As a result of these investments, which center on the strategy to build Dubai and Abu Dhabi as major airline hubs and luxury destinations, tourisms total contribution to GDP stood at 13.5% in 2011, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC).
• While oil continues to be the UAEs key revenue generator, the country has transformed itself into a major hub for airlines, shopping, finance, sports, adventure and hospitality. Each of the seven emirates are competing to follow a similar strategy and this has resulted in the development of several cities such as Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and Fujairah offering excellent tourism infrastructure.
• As a large part of the countrys population is made of expat workers, domestic tourism suffers as most workers prefer vacations in their home countries.
• Climate dictates the flow of inbound tourism in the UAE, with the cooler months of October to March being the busiest months. Most key events which attract a large number of foreign visitors, such as the Formula 1 Grand Prix in Abu Dhabi, Global Village, the Dubai World Cup and the Dubai Shopping Festival take place during the winter.
• The most favored activity for inbound travelers in the UAE is shopping. Dubai is the largest luxury shopping destination in the Middle East with over 400 luxury brands and stores. Inbound tourist expenditure rose from AED26.3 billion (US$7.1 billion) in 2008 to AED34.0 billion (US$9.2 billion) in 2012, at a CAGR of 6.66% during the review period. The retail sector held the largest share of inbound expenditure at 28% in 2012, followed by accommodation with 25% and transportation with 22%.
• Owing to the high cost of medical treatment in the country, UAE citizens travel overseas to places like Thailand and India for affordable healthcare.
• Most locals travel abroad during the summer months, which extend from June to September, to escape the searing heat.
• Cheap petrol, a small geographical area and a lack of rail networks have made cars a dominant mode of transport in the UAE, as a result of which the domestic airlines market remains weak. Cars are preferred as traveling between emirates by air requires a two-hour airport wait, which makes the journey time equivalent to driving by car.
• After years of luxury tourism, the UAE is currently recording an increase in budget travel, which has necessitated car rental companies to add more cost-effective cars to their fleets. Car rental companies in the UAE have broad product ranges, comprising both luxury and budget cars.
• In keeping with its image as a premium tourist destination, hotel room supply in the UAE is geared towards luxury accommodation. Serviced apartments form a major part of the room supply in the UAE owing to the rising number of expatriates and business travelers.
• While travel agents are the most preferred means of booking tours, they are still not viewed as a credible source of advice in comparison to personal recommendations from friends.

Report Scope

This report provides an extensive analysis related to tourism demands and flows in the UAE:

• It details historical values for the tourism sector in the UAE for 2008–2012, along with forecast figures for 2013–2017
• It provides comprehensive analysis of travel and tourism demand factors with values for both the 2008–2012 review period and the 2013–2017 forecast period
• The report makes a detailed analysis and projection of domestic, inbound and outbound tourist flows in the UAE
• It provides employment and salary trends for various categories of the travel and tourism sector
• It provides comprehensive analysis of the airline, hotel, car rental and travel intermediaries industries with values for both the 2008–2012 review period and the 2013–2017 forecast period

Reasons to Buy

• Take strategic business decisions using historic and forecast market data related to the travel and tourism sector in the UAE
• Understand the demand-side dynamics within the UAE travel and tourism sector, along with key market trends and growth opportunities
• Identify the spending patterns of domestic, inbound and outbound tourists by individual categories
• Analyze key employment and compensation data related to the travel and tourism sector in the UAE

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