ATM 2019: Expo 2020 to leave lasting legacy on United Arab Emirates

Expo 2020 and its legacy, District 2020, are expected to have a positive long-term influence on the growth of inbound arrivals to the UAE from the country’s top five source markets between 2018 and 2023.

That it according to data published ahead of Arabian Travel Market, which takes place at Dubai World Trade Centre from April 28th-May 1st this year.

Looking at the country’s top three source markets, the number of Indian visitors travelling to the UAE will increase at a CAGR of seven per cent to three million in 2023, while arrivals from Saudi Arabia and the UK will witness an increase of two and one per cent to 1.76 million and 1.28 million respectively over the same period.

While the UAE’s top source market rankings are expected to remain mostly unchanged post-Expo 2020 – the latest research from Colliers International, in partnership with ATM, reveals the Russian and Chinese source markets will show above average annual growth rates for inbound passenger arrivals.

Danielle Curtis, exhibition director, Middle East, Arabian Travel Market, said: “The number of Russian tourists travelling to the UAE will increase at a compound annual growth rate of 12 per cent to 1.6 million in 2023, while the number of Chinese tourists visiting the UAE will increase at a compound annual growth rate of eight per cent to 1.27 million over the same period, according to the data.”

Looking to acquire their share of these high-growth markets at ATM 2019, will be the tourism boards from the UAE’s seven emirates with major exhibits from Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Ras Al Khaimah, Sharjah, Ajman and Fujairah as well as over 93 other UAE exhibitors such as Emirates, Emaar Hospitality Group and Dubai Airports Corporation.

Curtis said: “Taking a look at the other key drivers, besides Expo 2020, Russian visitors to the UAE have grown in recent years, due to the introduction of additional and direct airline routes.

“Russian visitors also now benefit from relaxed UAE visa regulations and rising oil prices are helping to strengthen the Russian rouble, making the UAE more affordable.”

With 20 million annual visitors expected to visit Dubai by 2020, plus an additional five million between October 2020 and April 2021 – 70 per cent of which will come from outside the UAE – the overall hospitality supply in the emirate is expected to increase by 39 per cent from 59,561 keys in 2017 to 82,994 in 2021 to meet this demand.

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