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UAE Inbound tourism to increase over five years –Visa GM

UAE Inbound tourism to increase over five years –Visa GM

Visitors to the UAE have reportedly spent at least $3.1 billion last year, which is a 20 percent increase from the previous year—and those are just the ones using Visa cards.

August 14, 2011 1:12 by



Visa card carrying travellers to the UAE spent 20.3 percent more in 2010 compared with the previous year, as tourism recovered from the impact of the global financial crisis, a company executive said on Sunday.

Kamran Siddiqi, GM for Visa Middle East, said company data showed international travellers spent $3.1 billion in the UAE, at $298 billion the second largest Arab economy—of course these are just Visa customer figures.

Private expenditure accounted for around 59 percent of the UAE economy last year, the National Bureau of Statistics data showed.

Siddiqui attributes this jump to infrastructure developments in the UAE, adding his fore cast that the UAE will receive inbound tourism over the next five years.

Largest spend registered among tourists mainly from Britain, the US and Russia.

EVEN MORE TRAFFIC FROM CHINA

“In 2010, Chinese travellers spent 155.3 percent more in the UAE than they did in 2009. Luxury retailers noted the rise in Chinese visitors that began in 2010 shows no signs of abating as an increasing number of Chinese tourists are looking for high-end luxury goods,” he said.

Overall, passenger traffic at Dubai International Airport — the world’s fourth busiest airport — rose 15 percent in 2010 as the global economy recovered. It was up 8.9 percent in the first half of 2011 despite high fuel costs and increased economic uncertainty in Europe and the US.

Hotels in the UAE trade and tourism hub Dubai, known for the world’s tallest tower, reported a modest occupancy increase of 0.7 percent to 69.9 percent in May from the previous year.

International tourist arrivals to the UAE are expected to grow by 7 percent to 13 million trips by 2015, Euromonitor International figures show. Analysts polled by Reuters in June expect the UAE economy to expand by 3.7 percent in 2011. (Reporting by Martina Fuchs)



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