The UAE earned $ 5 billion in the first half of the return of tourists

Dubai: Tourism revenues in the United Arab Emirates exceeded $5 billion in the first half of this year, officials said Sunday, with a strong performance expected this winter when neighboring Qatar hosts the World Cup, the biggest event in football.

UAE Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, said, after a cabinet meeting in the capital, Abu Dhabi, that hotel occupancy rose by more than 40 percent in 2021, which was hit by the Corona virus.

“Revenues from our tourism sector exceeded 19 billion dirhams ($5.2 billion) in the first half of 2022,” the official Emirates News Agency (WAM) quoted Sheikh Mohammed as saying.

He added, “The total number of hotel guests reached 12 million, achieving a growth of 42 percent, and we expect a strong tourism performance in the winter season.”

Dubai, an established holiday destination, is expected to host large numbers of football fans during the World Cup in November and December due to the dearth of accommodation in tiny Qatar.

Dubai is one of the Gulf cities that operates daily shuttle flights to and from Qatar during the World Cup, allowing fans to stay outside the wealthy country while still attending matches.

Dubai International Airport, the world’s busiest with international travel before the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, handled 27.8 million passengers in the first six months, an increase of more than 160 percent over the same period in 2021.

The rapid vaccination launch allowed the UAE to recover quickly from the global health crisis, and enjoy a sharp rise in visitors as Dubai hosted the Expo 2020 from last October to March.

Sheikh Mohammed said that economic growth this year exceeded 22 percent, and foreign trade exceeded one trillion dirhams ($272 billion), compared to 840 billion dirhams before the outbreak of the epidemic.

The Middle Eastern country’s cabinet also approved “all-clean energy” electric cargo planes, and a new law aimed at increasing private sector participation in government projects.

WAM said the law would encourage “the private sector to participate in development and strategic projects and increase investment in projects with economic and social values.”

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