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null UAE participates in 49th meeting of the UNWTO Regional Commission for the Middle East in Jordan

09 Jun 2023

UAE participates in 49th meeting of the UNWTO Regional Commission for the Middle East in Jordan



Meeting chooses UAE Minister of Economy as UNWTO Vice President for the Middle East




The UAE, represented by H.E. Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy, has been chosen as the UNWTO Vice President for the Middle East for the 25th edition of the UNWTO meeting, which will be held in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, in October.


The announcement was made during the UAE delegation’s participation in the 49th meeting of the UNWTO Regional Commission for the Middle East, which was held at Dead Sea in Jordan from 7 to 9 June. The UAE delegation was led by HE Abdullah Ahmed Al Saleh, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Economy.


H.E. Al Saleh said that under the directives of its wise leadership, the UAE attaches significant importance to the development of an integrated ecosystem for the tourism sector in line with highest global standards, acknowledging its importance as a key driver of national economic growth. The UAE has launched several national initiatives, campaigns, and policies supporting various tourism activities and sub-sectors, which have contributed to driving sustainable tourism development in the country, thus solidifying its position in the global tourism landscape.


The Undersecretary said in his speech: “The UAE’s tourism sector has achieved substantial growth and top performance rankings, as highlighted by statistics from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC). The sector’s contribution to our national GDP grew by 60.2 per cent in 2022, reaching nearly AED 167 billion, which constitutes 9 per cent of the UAE’s GDP. Moreover, its contribution is expected to reach nearly AED 180.6 billion by the end of 2023 with an 8.3 per cent growth compared to 2022. The international visitors’ expenditure in the UAE totaled AED 117.6 billion in 2022, up 65.3 per cent from the previous year, while the local tourism expenditure also witnessed considerable growth totaling AED 46.9 billion, up 35.7 per cent from 2021. In Q1 2023, the number of travelers who transited through the UAE airports reached 31.8 million with a 56.3 per cent growth, compared to 20.3 million travelers in Q1 2022, reflecting a growth of more than 11.48 travelers.”


“These growth figures reflect the increasing global confidence in our national tourism sector and the outstanding reputation of the UAE’s tourism environment as an ideal destination for both domestic and international visitors. This confirms the effectiveness of the sustainable tourism policies adopted by the UAE,” H.E. added.

Furthermore, H.E. highlighted that the recently launched UAE Tourism Strategy 2031 will add further momentum to the advancement of the national tourism sector and strengthen its tourism products, services and infrastructure. This strategy aims to elevate the UAE’s tourism identity to be the best in the world by capitalizing on its tourism diversity that boasts unique characteristics and features of all seven emirates. It also aims to increase the contribution of the tourism sector to the national GDP to AED 450 billion, attract AED 100 billion worth of tourism investments to the country, and attract 40 million hotel guests by the year 2031.


H.E. said: “This meeting is an important milestone in supporting sustainable tourism development in all countries in the region and creating new growth opportunities for its various sub-sectors through joint efforts.” H.E. emphasized the UAE’s keenness to continue supporting the efforts of UNWTO in the Middle East to launch plans and strategies with an aim to revive the region’s tourism sector.


Moreover, the Undersecretary invited all countries in the Middle East to actively participate in COP28, which will be hosted by the UAE from 30 November until 12 December, 2023.


On the sidelines of the meeting, the UAE also participated in the Medical and Wellness Tourism conference, which discussed several issues that are currently affecting medical tourism in the region.


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