UAE Travel ‘&’ Tourism Sector Ranks “1st” in the Middle East ‘&’ Africa Region


HE Hani Rashid Al Hamli Secretary-General of Dubai Economic Council, pointed to the vital role played by the travel and tourism sector (T’&’T) in promoting economic growth and development at the global level, where the sector contributes to raising employment rates, increases national income, and improves the balance of payments, as well as value-added for this sector at the level of social development and quality of life.

Al Hamli said “the travel and tourism sector is of exceptional importance for the UAE and Dubai, and in light of the significant developments in this sector during the previous years, the UAE becomes the most attractive tourist forefront at the regional and global level.” Al Hamli stressed that “the Government of Dubai and the UAE has given great importance to the travel and tourism sector to enhance the prestige of the country on the map of world tourism, and the fruits of this approach is the record numbers the UAE achieved in travel and tourism sector competitiveness advantage.” The Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report 2009 was released last week by the World Economic Forum (WEF) under the theme of �Managing in a time of turbulence’.

Adel Al Falasi, Executive Director of Dubai Competitiveness Council, the operational arm of Dubai Economic Council, said about UAE tourism: “the travel and tourism sector plays an essential role in creating various job opportunities and boosting the growth of our economy. It also adds a lot of value to the social development and quality of life provided to citizens and tourists from all over the world. Therefore Dubai is regionally and globally well-known to be the most attractive family and luxury tourist destination”.

Al Falasi continued “as shown in the said report, the government is prioritizing this sector and aiming to make Dubai the number one tourist destination not only in the region but all over the globe”.

“In Dubai Competitiveness Council (DCC), our vision for Dubai is to be the most competitive city in the globe, and its mission is to enhance Dubai Competitiveness advantage as the main driver for growing productivity and great prosperity and to contribute to developing a culture that not only promotes competitiveness but actually lives it” Al Falasi added.

The T’&’T Competitiveness Report 2009 revealed that Switzerland, Austria and Germany were the top three countries in the Travel ‘&’ Tourism Competitiveness Index (TTCI) whereas UAE ranked (33) among (133) countries in the overall ranking.

UAE ranked (1st) in the Middle East and Africa region (including Gulf countries) moving up seven places since last year overtaking Qatar and Tunisia.

Although UAE is not enriched with natural and cultural resources, it has other competitiveness advantages in T’&’T sector. UAE ranked (1st) in destination-marketing campaigns, and ranked (3rd) in government prioritizing the sector.

Moving up one place since last year UAE ranked (4th) in air transport infrastructure and ranked (10th) in having a positive attitude toward foreign travelers. Likewise UAE is characterized and famous of being very safe from crime and violence where it ranked (14th) out of all countries.

According to the report, the UAE has witnessed a huge improvement in the area of travel and tourism rules and regulations moving from (81st) place to rank (53rd) this year.

It’s worth noting that the report released by WEF is aiming to measure the factors and policies that make it attractive to develop the Travel and Tourism (T’&’T) sector in different countries.

Information in the report was obtained through hard data and the WEF annual Executive Opinion Survey which is surveys key people and decision makers in the business community where the investment decisions are made.


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