Abu Dhabi is set to rise up the industry's rankings with Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company's purchase of ExCel London, which has left the capital "well placed to capitalise on its improved global outreach" within the $300 billion (Dh1.1trn) business tourism sector, said an industry expert.
"Abu Dhabi has a world-class Mice (meetings, incentive, conventions and exhibitions) infrastructure in place. The next step is to develop future leaders for the industry," said Tom Hulton, Director of International Relations of the International Meetings Exhibition.
He said: "This is a matter of training and better understanding of what the sector is about and ensuring it is rightfully perceived as one of the most important generators of tourism revenue."
Emiratis account for around one per cent of the 47,700 jobs Abu Dhabi's tourism industry directly supports, according to economic modelling undertaken by the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority and based on 2007 data. The authority is looking to improve the ratio to five per cent by 2012.