Spending on tourism
According to the data released by World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) (PDF, 81 KB), spending of international visitors in the UAE amounted to about AED 48.7 billion during 2020, as opposed to AED 143.1 billion in 2019; attributing the decrease of 66 per cent to the COVID-19 pandemic.
India and Saudi Arabia topped international markets for inbound arrivals to the UAE in 2020, with a share of 14 per cent each, followed by:
- China with 7 per cent
- Oman with 6 per cent
- United Kingdom with 5 per cent and
- the rest of the world with 53 per cent.
The spending of domestic visitors in the UAE reached AED 23.8 billion in 2020, compared to AED 41.5 billion in 2019, a decrease of 42.7 per cent.
Saudi Arabia topped the international market for outbound departures from the UAE, with a share of 30 per cent, followed by:
- the United Kingdom 17 per cent
- Oman 14 per cent
- Azerbaijan 6 per cent
- France 5 per cent and
- the rest of the world with 28 per cent.
Tourism's contribution to the GDP
The total contribution of the travel and tourism sector to the UAE’s GDP amounted to AED 71.6 billion in 2020 (5.4 per cent of the GDP), as opposed to AED 180.4 billion in 2019 (11.6 of the GDP).
The number of total direct and indirect jobs in the travel and tourism sector was 574,300 being 9.4 per cent of total employment in 2020, as opposed to 749,200 jobs, being 11.2 per cent of total employment in 2019. There was a decline of 23.3 per cent in the number of jobs in 2020.