Emirates NBD economist tells AHIC the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Oman are key ME tourism markets

Emirates NBD MENA research head Khatija Haque told the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference today that the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Oman offer the substantial potential for rapid tourism and hospitality industry growth.

“For a country looking for job creation, tourism is the natural direction for Saudi Arabia to go,” Haque said. “Oman is aiming for 12m tourists in 2020.”

Dubai’s aim to secure 25m visitors for the World Expo which opens in October 2020 is the most eye-catching tourism initiative, Haque said.

“The public sector will underpin the hotel and tourism industry in the region,” Haque said. She said that confidence in GCC government’s capacity to deliver will be bolstered in countries where there are hard deadlines. These include Dubai’s World Expo and the FIFA World Cup finals in Qatar in 2022.

AHIC is organised by Bench Events and MEED.