…has apparently been doing very well; it tops the recent regional Country Brand Index. The nation is set to see new attractions and thousands of hotel rooms soon. But is the brand powerful enough?
November 12, 2009 3:40 by Aarti Nagraj
According to the World Travel and Tourism Council, travel and tourism will contribute 20.2 percent to the UAE’s GDP in 2009, amounting to AED178.7 billion ($48.65 billion), reports Gulf News.
The UAE is working to develop itself as an all-round tourist paradise; Abu Dhabi recently hosted the Formula One Grand Prix, and is building the Saadiyat Island, a cultural haven that will house the Louvre and the Guggenheim museums.
The Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority has said it expects to see around 1.5 million tourists this year despite the impact of the financial crisis. It has adjusted its long-term targets, and hopes for a 10 percent growth in tourists in 2010, and a 15 percent growth for both 2011 and 2012.
And with new hotels and malls, and the world’s tallest building, Dubai is still promoting itself as the glamorous hub of the Middle East.
According to a report released last month by travel research company STR Global, the UAE is currently building 57,126 hotel rooms, almost half the total number of rooms being constructed in the MENA region. Global hotel chain, Marriott International, has also said that it plans to open 21 hotels in the UAE by 2015.