Op-Ed: New visa to transform tourism sector in UAE

ABU DHABI, 8th January, 2020 — The International Media followed with great interest the Resolution of the UAE Cabinet that approved the multi-entry tourist visa for the UAE for a period of five years for all nationalities, which will have a significant impact regionally and globally in this important time.

The Resolution delivers many promising messages to the UAE community and the whole world, the first and most effective one is the stability and sustainability of the national economy and its ability to address the fluctuations and changes that affected the region over the past decades.

Last October, the UAE ranked first regionally and 33rd globally in tourism and travel in 2019, according to 52 competitive indicators, the most notable of which is the stability of the country’s economy.

The United Arab Emirates has achieved this accomplishment as tourism in the country is an institutional work that has a solid base in the formation of the UAE society which is based on hospitality and tolerance which are deeply rooted inside Emiratis.

What attracts the attention of researchers in the global tourism sector is that the UAE has excelled in the innovation accelerators such as information and communication technologies, labour market efficiency, business dynamism and innovation potential.

The country received about 21 million tourists in 2019, including 15 million during the first half of the year. The contribution of the Tourism sector in the country’s Gross Domestic Product exceeded AED161 billion, which is a huge achievement in “UAE Vision 2021” and in the forecasts for 2027 targeting AED234 billion.

In consideration of the development sustainability, sectoral contributions figures are taken with the GDP, accompanied by employment figures, and the innovative potential to engage the public and private sectors.

In the employment field, the tourism and travel sector provides about 325,000 job opportunities distributed in a wide range of tourism products, starting with hotels that includes about 125,000 rooms.

The competitiveness of the Emirati tourism sector is enhanced by innovation that added, in the past few years, new patterns such as environmental and agricultural tourism, which comprises of 151 sites.

These new patterns are based on distinguished infrastructure during the past decades and is still in shopping and entertainment areas, as well as the industry of hosting international and regional conferences and events that will be highly represented in the Expo 2020 Dubai.

In addition to the country’s accumulative achievements that ranked the country first regionally, the Resolution of the five years multiple entry tourist visa for all nationalities, not only enhances the absolute precedence of the country as a tourist hub, but also delivers a message of confidence in the UAE economy in the light of a turbulent region which is full of crisis that undermine the ability to plan and to achieve sustainable development.

It was no coincidence that the Resolution of five years multiple entry tourist visa came at the first meeting of the Cabinet in the new year.

In 2020 the UAE had a commitment to designing its future for the second half of its centenary, based on the legacy of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, to be a Union which is based on a humanitarian message, economic stability and tolerance as well as an open tourism sector protected by security and innovation.