A new World Economic Forum report ranks the travel and tourism industry in UAE as most competitive in the region.
On the whole, the UAE was positioned at 28th out of 140 nations in the fifth Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report. This was a jump of two places compared to the previous ranking in 2011. Qatar was ranked as the second most competitive Gulf tourism market. The country attained a ranking of 41st globally, which was an improvement of one place since 2011. Qatar has stepped up its efforts to host a grand FIFA World Cup 2022 by pumping billions into the development of its travel and tourism industry. Around 21 new hotels are expected to be completed in the next five years.
Oman also recorded an improvement in its ranking as it rose four places to 57th in the overall ranking. Hotel sector in Oman is expected to grow by more than 60 percent as 4,613 rooms are due for completion in the coming years. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was ranked at 62nd position for global competitiveness on the back of 14 percent growth in tourism last year.
Meanwhile, the troubled state of Bahrain fell by 15 places to 55th rank as the political uprisings had a negative impact on the country’s tourism industry. Kuwait was the lowest ranked Gulf tourism market as it did not feature in the top 100. It fell by six places to 101st compared to 2011’s 95th position.
Switzerland, Germany and Austria were the top position holders in the global rankings. According to Jennifer Blanke, head of the Global Competitiveness and Benchmarking Network at the World Economic Forum, “industry resilience has been driven by the growth of the middle class in emerging markets, although advanced economies too are displaying positive momentum. Better policies, harnessing technology and facilitating the movement of people over borders will allow the industry to capitalise on this tailwind and support rising prosperity into the future”.