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22 June 2024

UAE Ranks First Regionally and 18th Globally in Travel and Tourism Development

By E247

The United Arab Emirates has secured the first place in the Middle East and North Africa region and 18th place globally in the Travel and Tourism Development Index released by the World Economic Forum.

According to the report issued today, the UAE increased its score by 4.4% in the 2024 index, climbing 7 places from its previous ranking of 25th globally in the 2021 edition of the report.

The report ranks 119 economies based on a set of factors and consists of five sub-indices: the enabling environment, travel and tourism policy and enabling conditions, infrastructure and services, travel and tourism resources such as nature and culture, and the sustainability of the travel and tourism sector.

The index provides a strategic measurement tool for businesses, governments, international organizations, and others to develop the travel and tourism sector.

The United States topped the index, followed by Spain and Japan, with the top three countries maintaining their positions from the previous report edition.

Among high-income economies, only the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia were ranked in the top ten countries showing the most improvement in their results between 2019 and 2024.

The Middle East region witnessed the highest recovery rates in the number of international tourist arrivals, "20% higher than the 2019 level," while Europe, Africa, and the Americas showed strong recovery, regaining 90% of their activity in 2023 compared to pre-COVID-19 levels.

Francisco Betti, Head of Global Industries at the World Economic Forum, stated, "This year marks a turning point for the travel and tourism sector."

The report predicts that the global tourism industry will recover from the lowest levels recorded during the COVID-19 pandemic and surpass pre-crisis levels. This recovery is attributed to a significant increase in demand worldwide, coinciding with more available flights, improved international openness, and increased interest and investment in natural and cultural attractions.