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United Arab Emirates Tourism Report Q4 2010

United Arab Emirates Tourism Report provides industry professionals and strategists, corporate analysts, tourism associations, government departments and regulatory bodies with independent forecasts and competitive intelligence on the United Arab Emirates' tourism industry.

Tourism Overview

There appears to be a favourable recovery underway in tourism to the UAE as a whole in 2010, after negative growth in foreign arrivals in 2009. In Dubai, figures for H110 show that the total number of hotel guests was up 9% year-on-year (y-o-y). Recently released data on arrivals to Dubai hotels in 2009, however, show there was only a marginal increase of under 1% y-o-y, to around 7.6mn. The total number of foreign guest arrivals though – excluding UAE tourists (that recorded buoyant growth) – fell 4% y-o-y, to about 6.8mn. This can be largely attributed to a marked 10% y-o-y decline in visitors from Europe, with tourist arrivals from the UK – the key source market – falling a considerable 16% y-o-y. As regards Abu Dhabi, tourist numbers were up 16% y-o-y to just over 1mn in the period January-July 2010. In Sharjah, meanwhile, the number of tourists staying in the emirate’s hotels and apartments in H110 increased nearly 11% y-o-y to over 745,000.


There was an improved performance in the Dubai hospitality sector in H110, with hotel guest nights up a strong 18% y-o-y to nearly 12.5mn nights. Hotel occupancy rates though were unchanged y-o-y in H1 at 71.7% (partly due to an increase in the number of hotel rooms). After relatively strong growth in Abu Dhabi in the first four months of the year, figures for the month of July show tourist nights rose a robust 24% y-o-y, with guests from the UK – the largest international market – Saudi Arabia and France all recording very strong growth. Sharjah’s figures for H110 show that the total number of occupied room nights in hotel establishments increased to 783,396, which represents an increase of 8% y-o-y. The overall occupancy rate was 70%, a solid increase on the 64% achieved in the first six months of 2009.

Forecast Scenario

Based on new data on arrivals to Dubai, we have revised our negative growth estimate for arrivals in 2009 to the UAE to -4.5% y-o-y, to some 9mn visitors. The poor outturn for the sector was due to the impact of severe recession in the US and key European economies. Relatively strong recovery in arrivals growth is anticipated in 2010 (but from a low base in 2009), athough growth is forecast to moderate slightly in 2011. These forecasts are based on economic recovery in major source markets, particularly the eurozone, the UK and the Middle East.

Dubai World

Confidence in the UAE’s ability to recover from 2009’s financial crisis was given a slight boost on September 10, following the announcement that state-owned investment company Dubai World (owner of Nakheel, the troubled property developer) had come to terms with 99% of its creditors over its plans to restructure US$25bn worth of liabilities. Under the terms of the deal, Dubai World is set to offload a wide swathe of its prized assets over a period of eight years, with the sales projected to generate up to a maximum of US$19.4bn.

Airport Passenger Traffic

Confirming the recovery in tourism, there was a rebound in passenger traffic at Abu Dhabi International Airport during H110, with numbers rising by nearly 12% y-o-y. The top five routes (accounting for 20% of total traffic) were London, Bangkok, Doha, Manilla and Bahrain. After annual growth in passenger numbers of 9% in 2009 at Dubai International Airport, growth accelerated in the first seven months of 2010 to 16% y-o-y.


In July, Dubai-based Emirates ordered 30 Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, in a deal worth approximately US$9bn. Figures for the flag carrier of Abu Dhabi, Etihad Airways, for H110 show passenger traffic increased by a favourable 11% y-o-y. In Q210, Sharjah-based Air Arabia served 1.1mn passengers, up by 11% y-o-y.
Executive Summary

SWOT Analysis
UAE Tourism SWOT
UAE Political SWOT
UAE Economic SWOT
UAE Business Environment SWOT

Industry Forecast Scenario
Table: Arrivals Data, 2007-2014
Table: Accommodation Data, 2007-2014
Table: Tourism Expenditure & Economic Impact, 2007-2014
Inbound Tourism
Table: Tourist Arrivals By Region, 2007-2014
Outbound Tourism
Table: Outbound Tourism, 2007-2014

Market Overview – Travel
Commercial Airlines
Table: Key Players – UAE Commercial Airlines, 2009 (unless stated)
Global Oil Products Price Outlook
Table: Oil Product Price Data & Forecasts, 2010 (US$/bbl)
Table: Oil Product Price Data & Forecasts, 2007-2014 (US$/bbl)

Market Overview – Hospitality
Accommodation Developments
Table: Selected Accommodation Projects In The UAE
Regional Case Study: Accor
Table: Accor Hotel Business In Selected Middle East And Africa Countries, June 2010
Tourism Infrastructure

Business Environment Outlook
Table: Middle East And Africa Travel And Tourism Business Environment Ratings
BMI’s Security Ratings
Table: Middle East And Africa Defence And Security Ratings
Table: Middle East And North Africa State Terrorism Vulnerability Index
The UAE’s Security Risk Rating
City Terrorism Rating
Table: BMI’s Middle East And North Africa City Terrorism Index
Middle East And Africa Security Overview

Global Assumptions
Table: Global Assumptions, 2009-2014
Table: Global & Regional Real GDP Growth, 2009-2012
Table: BMI And Consensus Forecasts, 2010-2011 (%)
Table: Developed States Real GDP Growth Forecasts, 2009-2012 (%)
Table: Emerging Markets Aggregate Growth, 2009-2012 (%)

Company Profiles
Etihad Airways

BMI Methodology
How We Generate Our Industry Forecasts
Tourism Industry
Tourism Ratings – Methodology
Table: Tourism Business Environment Indicators
Table: Weighting of Components
City Terrorism Rating
Table: City Terrorism Risk Methodology
Companies Mentioned
- Emirates
- Etihad Airways
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