UAE outperformed world’s top 10 tourist destinations this year

The global data website Statista expects the UAE to attract more than 31 million tourists annually by 2025


Sahim Salim

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Published: Wed 15 Dec 2021, 5:32 PM

The UAE’s tourism sector was the quickest globally to recover from the impact of Covid-19, the country’s Vice-President has said.

As he launched the World’s Coolest Winter tourism campaign, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, said the drive is expanding this year to target international visitors.

It will present the most important tourist and entertainment destinations in the country, its nature, culture, heritage, history, architecture and landmarks, and highlight the distinct tourism experience in each of the seven emirates.

The UAE achieved a tourist occupancy rate of 64 per cent in hotel and tourism establishments between January and October of 2021. The country outperformed the top 10 tourist destinations in the world such as the United States, which achieved an average of 58 per cent; China (54 per cent), Britain (50 per cent), Turkey (49 per cent), France (44 per cent), Mexico (43 per cent), Spain (40 per cent), Italy (37 per cent), Germany (33 per cent), and Thailand (21 per cent).

In the first half of 2021, hotel and tourist establishments attracted about 8.3 million guests, a growth of 15 per cent compared to the first half of last year. During the same period, the number of hotel nights spent by guests amounted to around 35 million - a growth of 30 per cent; and the average guest stay increased to 4.1 nights, with a growth of 12.5 per cent.

This resulted in a 31 per cent growth in hotel establishment revenues, to reach Dh11.3 billion. The share of domestic tourism reached more than 30 per cent of the total guests of hotel establishments.

The global data website Statista expects the UAE to attract more than 31 million tourists annually by 2025, and the travel and tourism sector to contribute Dh280.6 billion to the UAE's GDP by 2028.


“The seven emirates have rich history, geography, nature, urban architecture, and community. The UAE’s archaeological sites, culture centres, historical landmarks, and nature reserves, offer visitors a holistic experience,” said Sheikh Mohammed.

The second season of the World’s Coolest Winter campaign will highlight the diversity of the UAE’s touristic and recreational attractions, the beauty of its natural landscapes, and the hospitality of its people. It will run from December 15 until the end of January 2022.

The campaign will see the provision of many “exclusive promotions” by tourist establishments, hotels, shops and restaurants.

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