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Abu Dhabi Aims 7.2 Million Overnight Visitors by 2030; AED 90 Billion Annually to GDP by 2030    

  • April 4, 2024
  • 3 min read
Abu Dhabi Aims 7.2 Million Overnight Visitors by 2030; AED 90 Billion Annually to GDP by 2030    

The Strategy aims to attract over 39 million visitors by 2030

Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, has approved the new Tourism Strategy 2030 for the emirate.

The Strategy seeks to boost visitor numbers from nearly 24 million in 2023 to 39.3 million by 2030 (overnight and same-day), with a 7% year-on-year growth. Moreover, it plans to significantly elevate the tourism and travel sector’s contribution to the UAE’s GDP, raising it from approximately AED 49 billion in 2023 to AED 90 billion annually by 2030.

The Strategy will generate an estimated 178,000 new jobs by 2030 as the entire tourism infrastructure develops to meet this demand. It intends to almost double international overnight visitors from 3.8 million in 2023 approximately to 7.2 million in 2030, expand hotel room availability from 34,000 in 2023 to 52,000 by 2030, and further enhance the holiday home segment to diversify accommodation options.

Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman, Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), said: “The Tourism Strategy 2030 marks a pivotal moment in Abu Dhabi’s transformative journey, representing a vital lever in our ongoing evolution. Delivered alongside our key partners, the Strategy underscores our steadfast commitment to fostering sustainable growth and strategic development in the travel and tourism sector. Through carefully crafted initiatives that will unlock economic opportunities, amplify our distinctive culture and enhance the emirate’s value proposition, we are laying the foundation for a vibrant and prosperous future that transcends generations.”

DCT Abu Dhabi will also more than double its Promotion and Marketing efforts, expanding its international reach from 11 to 26 markets and enhancing synergy within Abu Dhabi’s tourism ecosystem. It will also establish strategic global partnerships with media outlets and well-known brands for high-profile collaborations, creating compelling, market-specific content across various touchpoints.

Building on the success of 2023

In 2023, Abu Dhabi’s tourism sector saw a remarkable surge, welcoming nearly 24 million visitors. The 27% rise in hotel guests and 54% increase in international guests bolstered the economy with an approximate AED 49 billion contribution to the UAE’s GDP.

Arrivals from key international markets like India, Russia, United Kingdom, China and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia played a pivotal role in 2023, alongside the numbers attracted by the emirate’s vibrant array of over 150 events, its pristine beaches and natural landscapes, as well as its cultural sites such as Qasr Al Hosn, Qasr al Watan and Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, which attracted more than 8.7 million visitors. Offerings across museums, cultural festivals and art exhibitions saw record-setting attendance at Louvre Abu Dhabi and the inaugural Manar Abu Dhabi public art exhibition, underscoring the emirate’s diverse appeal.

Visitor numbers were further boosted by a 44% increase in MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions) events. With 960,000 delegates across 2,477 events exploring Abu Dhabi’s attractions and dining options, the food and beverage sector saw a resultant 21% revenue increase. In addition, flagship entertainment events like the MOTN Festival and Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, along with cultural milestones such as the Al Hosn Festival and the Liwa Festival, further solidified Abu Dhabi’s position as a global centre for leisure and tourism.

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