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Middle East holidays recovering

The number of tourists taking Middle East holidays is predicted to more than double up by 2020 according to UNWTO. Despite a recent decline due to the global recession the Middle East is expected to double world average by 2020

Middle East holidays recovering

According to the UNWTO the number of tourists taking Middle East holidays in popular destinations such as Dubai holidays, is expected to more than double by 2020 with the growth rate in the region almost doubling up on the world average. Taking the number of arrivals up to a total of 136 million, Middle East holidays expect an unprecedented boost to future figures, which would mean that by 2020 the total number of visitors would increase by 54 million in 10 years.

In its latest report the UNWTO (UN World Tourism Organisation) also reveals that as a result of the global economic slowdown, for the first 7 months of 2009 the number of visitors taking Middle East holidays dropped by 13% when compared against the same period last year.

Nevertheless the popular holiday destination area comprising the United Arab Emirates saw a tourism growth of 3% in the first quarter of this year, proving the popularity of hot destinations such as Dubai holidays, Oman holidays and Abu Dhabi holidays.

In 2008 the region overall experienced a tourism growth of 18.2%, which is predicted to continue from next year. The rate of expected recovery is in line with the global tourism industry, which is predicted to be over the worst and with a full recovery by 2010 looks likely according to the same report from the UNWTO. Speaking at a seminar in Abu Dhabi, the UNWTO regional representative for the Middle East, Amr Abdel-Ghaffar, said:

“Generally speaking, the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) countries appear to be showing a fair degree of resilience to the global economic downturn.”

For the case of Abu Dhabi holidays, the country is aiming to more than double the number of hotel guests to 2.3 million a year by 2012, down from a forecast of 2.7 million earlier this year.

Dubai holidays are also on track as the emirate aims to attract 15 million visitors a year by 2015, which would about double last year’s figure.

“The impact of the A/H1N1 flu, coupled with the global economic crisis, is likely to boost regional and domestic hotel occupancies, as increasingly travelers may opt for destinations closer to home, within the region or even within their home countries,” Abdel-Ghaffar concluded.

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