The UAE, which provides comfort to its citizens and tourists alike and has prioritised its heritage and preserved its history for the modern world, has become a leading international tourism destination, where authenticity is combined with modernity and development, through its rapid urban development that is the fastest in the Middle East and around the world.
The UAE has prioritised its tourism sector, which is a key pillar of its economy and supports its competitiveness. The UAE Cabinet adopted a decision to exempt the companions of visitors who are under 18 years of age from requiring entry visa fees when visiting the country between 15th July and 15th September each year.
This decision highlights the UAE’s importance to the international tourism sector as a destination that attracts families and tourists from around the world, which is reflected in the number of visitors during the first quarter of 2018 that reached around 32.8 million, who arrived in the country’s airports. The country’s tourism sector will also be boosted by a plan to exempt transit tourists from entry visa fees for the first 48 hours of their stay.
According to the World Tourism Organisation, WTO, the UAE is currently one of the ten fastest growing tourist destinations in the world, which was achieved by the country’s emirates, especially Abu Dhabi, through developing their infrastructure and supporting the hotel sector, as well as holding exhibitions, festivals and other events, such as the Sheikh Zayed Heritage Festival, the Sultan bin Zayed Heritage Festival, and the Abu Dhabi Art Fair.
Arab and foreign tourists flock to Abu Dhabi due to its many tourist sights, markets and activities, as well as its urban development and other tourist attractions. Abu Dhabi also has many hotels, including some of the best hotels in the country, as well as hotel apartments, villas and chalets.
The latest statistics from the Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism confirm that 162 hotels, hotel apartments and resorts in the emirate received 339,592 guests during the first half of 2018, an increase of around 19,000 guests from June 2017 while hotel establishments in the emirate received 2,413,230 guests during the first six months of the current year, a growth of 5 percent over the same period in 2017.