ABU DHABI / WAM
Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy, has said that the tourism sector is an important part of the national economy and a core pillar of economic diversification policy of the state.
In an interview with the Emirates News Agency (WAM), the Economy Minister said that the inclusion of the National Council for Tourism in the Ministry of Economy, as part of the major federal government structural changes, came in the context of the vision of the wise leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, to support economic diversification in the country.
Al Mansouri added that the tourism sector currently constitutes one of the important tributaries of national income and its role will be doubled and boosted in the near future under the wise leadership directives to activate its role as an important asset of national economy.
Commenting on enhancing the role of tourism sector at the state level, he said, “Practically tourism sector is already well-established aspect of the national economy, with plans to further develop and enhance its role in the coming period, and we will work in coordination and cooperation with various relevant authorities at the local and federal level to provide new ideas and innovative initiatives to strengthen the role of the tourism sector in the economic work system in the state.”
According to him the tourism industry will be even more reliable in the post-oil economy.
He explained that the total contribution of travel and tourism sector in the UAE’s domestic product amounted to about AED134 billion in 2015, accounting for 8.7 percent of GDP to grow by 4.4 percent this year, according to data issued by the World Travel and Tourism Council. He added that this contribution will rise at a rate of 5.4 percent annually over the next ten years to reach to AED236.8 billion by 2026.
The World Travel and Tourism Council in its economic report issued recently about the UAE, has noted that the direct contribution of the tourism sector to the national GDP last year amounted to AED64.9 billion, with a share of 4.2 percent, predicted to amount to AED67.6 billion and to grow annually at a rate of 5.7 percent, to reach AED118.1 billion by 2026 year.