2023-2028: UAE in-destination spending set to soar high
Monday, 15th January 2024
Source : Vladan Pantelic

The UAE's hotel sector experienced a significant revival in 2023 and with its luxurious accommodations attracting millions, the hotels have not only seen increased occupancy rates but also extended guest stays.

This has led to substantial earnings, marking a robust recovery. The airports, too, have witnessed a surge in passenger arrivals, indicating the nation's rising prominence as a global travel hub.

The contribution of travel to the UAE's GDP underscores its vital role in the economy. Dubai has outdone itself by surpassing pre-pandemic visitor numbers in the first half of 2023, showcasing a remarkable 20% year-on-year growth.

The airline industry in 2023 has focused on enhancing customer experiences and embracing sustainable practices. The rise of low-cost carriers (LCCs) has redefined air travel, offering budget-friendly options and compelling traditional airlines to innovate.

This emphasis on customer-centric strategies and sustainable initiatives redefines the travel experience in the UAE and beyond.
2023-2028: A Golden Era for UAE Travel with Robust Growth

From 2023 to 2028, the travel industry in the United Arab Emirates is projected to witness consistent growth across various sectors, as indicated by the rising figures and Compound Annual Growth Rates (CAGR). The Food and Dining sector is expected to maintain strong momentum, growing from AED 75,080 million in 2023 to AED 103,848 million in 2028 with a 6.70% CAGR, highlighting the UAE's flourishing culinary scene.

The Experiences sector, representing leisure and entertainment, is set to experience an impressive growth rate of 8.12%, suggesting an increasing demand for diverse tourist activities.

Forecast In-Destination Spending: Value 2023-2028 (Euromonitor, 2023)

Shopping, including both Retail and Duty-Free segments, is also anticipated to see steady growth, reinforcing the UAE's position as a premier shopping destination. The Wellness sector shows promising growth with a 9.19% CAGR, indicating a rising focus on health and wellness tourism.

Additionally, Other In-Destination Spending and Mobility sectors are expected to grow, reflecting the broad appeal of the UAE's travel offerings. Attractions, particularly Theme Parks, Museums, and Nature Reserves are projected to grow significantly, suggesting renewed interest in cultural and recreational sites.

This forecasted growth across multiple sectors illustrates the UAE's dynamic and expanding travel industry, poised to enhance its status as a global travel hub. The overall In-Destination Spending showcased a strong CAGR of 6.79%, signifying the sector's contribution to the UAE's economy.

What Next for Travel?

With significant strides anticipated in sectors ranging from Food and Dining to Experiences, Shopping, and Wellness, the UAE is shaping up to redefine the global travel and tourism landscape.

The forecasted growth in these sectors, each with impressive CAGR growth, underscores the nation's evolving appeal as a destination that offers a rich tapestry of culinary delights, shopping experiences, leisure activities, and wellness options. The emphasis on diversifying attractions, including theme parks, museums, and nature reserves, is expected to draw a wider range of visitors.

This comprehensive growth, mirrored in the overall increase in In-Destination Spending, positions the UAE not just as a regional leader but as a global travel hub ready to meet the future with innovation, diversity, and sustained economic success.


The UAE's travel and tourism sector in 2023 is a story of resilience, innovation, and growth. With its focus on sustainability, customer experience, and embracing technological advancements, the UAE is not just adapting to the changing dynamics of global travel but is also setting new benchmarks.

As the world looks towards more sustainable and technology-driven travel experiences, the UAE stands ready to lead and inspire.

Vladan Pantelic
Co-Founder | CEO at Hoick - Follow Vladan

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