UAE jobs: Travel and tourism sector creates 32,000 jobs in 2022

Dubai ranked the best destination for holidaymakers in the world in 2023, for the second year in a row

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Waheed Abbas

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Published: Wed 15 Feb 2023, 8:30 AM

Last updated: Wed 15 Feb 2023, 9:52 PM

The job market in the UAE’s travel and tourism industry has reached pre-pandemic levels as the 'revenge travel' that started after Covid-19 restrictions were lifted has provided a much-needed boost to the country’s key sector.

The UAE was one of the first countries to reopen its economy for foreign visitors after Covid-19, which substantially aided the recovery of the travel and tourism industry.

According to World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), the number of jobs in Dubai and Abu Dhabi are forecast to have reached 305,000 in 2022, the same level as before the pandemic. This is compared to 273,000 people employed in the sector in 2021, thus, creating 32,000 jobs last year.

Dubai’s appeal as a global tourist destination has grown exceptionally in the last couple of years. It has been ranked the best destination for holidaymakers in the world for 2023 — for the second year in a row – by Tripadvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards and ranked 2nd most attractive city for tourists in 2022 by Euromonitor.

According to Dubai Economy and Tourism, the number of international visitors jumped over 97 per cent to 14.36 million in 2022, but lower than 2019 figures of 16.73 million.

“City destinations in the UAE continue to grow in popularity for travellers from around the world. Although these key cities were heavily affected by the pandemic, they have shown incredible resilience and signs of growth. The UAE’s travel and tourism sector is on the road to recovery, demonstrative of the wide appeal tourist destinations across the region continue to hold for international travellers,” said Julia Simpson, president and CEO of WTTC.

“But it’s crucial that the national and local governments continue to recognise the economic importance of travel and tourism for the local and national economies, jobs and businesses.,” said Simpson.

Global tourism body has projected that Dubai tourist spending will jump by over 46 per cent to nearly $43 billion (Dh158 billion) by 2032, as compared to $29.4 billion (Dh108 billion) at the end of 2022, as the emirate’s tourism sector is set to expand on the back of government initiatives to attract more foreign visitors to the emirate.

In Dubai, WTTC said the numbers are forecast to rise by 13 per cent to 262,000 jobs while Abu Dhabi employment numbers are set to reach just over 43,000 in 2022, a modest increase of 0.4 per cent increase in job numbers since before the pandemic.

The report showed that there were just under 262,000 in Dubai and almost 43,000 travel and tourism jobs in Abu Dhabi in 2019.

The global tourism body projected the sector’s contribution to Dubai's economy is forecast to have reached Dh46 billion, only 10 per cent below 2019 levels. While Abu Dhabi’s travel and tourism sector is expected to have grown to Dh11 billion last year, just 12 per cent below 2019 levels.

In 2020, the sector’s contribution in both cities dropped by more than half. In Dubai, it fell to Dh19.5 billion and in Abu Dhabi, it fell to just Dh6 billion.

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