The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has rejoined the
UNWTO, 26 years after having left the organization.
The UAE and UNWTO will now work on several
initiatives including the measurement of the economic impact of
tourism, statistics and human resources development.
“The Middle East is one of the fastest growing
tourism regions in the world in spite of facing countless
challenges; much of this dynamism has been led by the strong
political commitment awarded to tourism in the region and the
vision that tourism is a key pillar of development in the Middle
East of which the UAE is a perfect example” said UNWTO
Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai. “The UAE play a central role not
only in the development of tourism in the region but also in
linking the Middle East with other regions and we expect that by
working together we will enhance tourism within and to the
Emirates as well as increase regional cooperation.”
The Middle East is one of the fastest growing
tourism regions in the world. Between 1980 and 2010, international
tourist arrivals in the Middle East rose from 7.1 million to 60.9
million, an average annual increase of 7.4% compared with a world
average of 4.2%.
According to UNWTO’s long-term forecast, Tourism
Towards 2030, this growth is set to continue; in 2030 arrivals to
the Middle East are expected to reach 149 million, an average
annual increase of 4.6% compared with a world average of 3.3%.
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