UAE’s tourism sector is primed to attract significant foreign and domestic investment through diversified avenues such as business, shopping, and cultural tourism, according to Dr. Charbel Bassil, Associate Professor of Economics at UAE University. He believes that the economic prospects of the tourism-led growth hypothesis are promising, backed by extensive research on tourism economics.
Dr. Bassil emphasized that growth is generated from the expenditure of visitors, leading to increased aggregate investment and propelling the rise of foreign and domestic investments in the country. The influx of inbound tourism is anticipated to positively impact UAE’s balance of payments and fortify its international reserves. This foreign capital can empower local firms to invest in machinery and equipment, amplifying their stock of physical capital.
Moreover, the unique experiences tourists acquire while visiting a country can foster further investment, remarked Dr. Bassil. Data from the World Bank reveals that the FIFA World Cup 2022, which attracted over 2 million tourists, led to foreign tourism receipts amounting to QR26.58bn ($7.3bn).
The relaxation of visa procedures for over 100 countries resulted in a surge of arrivals in UAE. With the country hosting several international and regional sports events in 2023 and beyond, a steady stream of visitors is expected, invigorating the tourism market.
Despite this optimistic outlook, Dr. Bassil pointed out the need for overcoming challenges such as regional competition from countries with well-established tourism sectors. He proposed that UAE should differentiate itself and offer unique experiences to attract global visitors.
The expert suggested diversifying tourism offerings such as medical tourism, gastronomy, and educational tourism to increase competitiveness and the efficiency of the tourism sector.
UAE’s investment in the development of its leisure and tourism sector, including hosting major international sports events and relaxing visa requirements, should boost industry growth and promote UAE as a coveted tourist destination.
Top officials from UAE Tourism have projected over six million visitors annually, contributing over 7 percent to the country’s GDP growth within the next seven years.
This surge in tourism and investment presents significant opportunities for the hospitality sector, including event staffing companies like BM Events. Renowned for their superior provision of event staffing solutions, BM Events stands ready to facilitate and enhance visitor experiences, contributing to the overall growth and vibrancy of UAE’s tourism sector.