Transformative Journey for Abu Dhabi: New Tourism Strategy 2030

The Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who is also the Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, has approved the new Tourism Strategy 2030 which will be spearheaded by the Department of Culture and Tourism. This highlights a new era of expansion and strategic development in the travel and tourism sector.

Through Tourism Strategy 2030, the UAE aims to boost visitor numbers from nearly 24 million in 2030 to 39.3 million by 2030, with a 7 percent year-on-year growth. It will significantly elevate the tourism and travel sector’s contribution to the UAE’s GDP to around AED 90 billion annually by 2030.

The Chairman of DCT Abu Dhabi Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak said Tourism Strategy 2030 marks a pivotal moment in Abu Dhabi’s transformative journey, representing a vital lever in their ongoing evolution. “Delivered alongside our key partners, the Strategy underscores our steadfast commitment to fostering sustainable growth and strategic development in the travel and tourism sector. Through carefully crafted initiatives that will unlock economic opportunities, amplify our distinctive culture, and enhance the emirate’s value proposition, we are laying the foundation for a vibrant and prosperous future that transcends generations.”

Transformative Journey for Abu Dhabi: New Tourism Strategy 2030

26 key initiatives have been identified across four strategic pillars to achieve the Strategy’s goals. The pillars are as follows:

Offering and City Activation: this will further enhance the overall guest experience by unveiling additional cultural sites, theme parks, retail offerings, and new hotel chains. It will boost the emirate’s events calendar of year-round concerts, festivals, and family events.

Promotion & Marketing: through this Abu Dhabi will expand its international reach from 11 to 26 markets and enhance the synergy within its tourism ecosystem. It will also establish strategic global partnerships with media outlets and well-known brands for high-profile collaborations, creating compelling, market-specific content across various touchpoints.

Infrastructure & Mobility: this will increase hotel room availability across various categories, including accessible and luxury options, glamping, and farm stays. Through valued collaborations, the emirates is set to enhance roads, public transport, and infrastructure, simplifying travel within and boosting visitor inflow through increased flight seat capacity with local and international airlines.

Visa, Licensing, and Regulations: this will be in collaboration with relevant government agencies, enhanced platforms and processes. It will reduce time frames for all applications and permits, to improve the ease of doing business and attract investment.

Transformative Journey for Abu Dhabi: New Tourism Strategy 2030

Tourism Strategy 2030 will generate around 178,000 new jobs by 2030. It also intends to double international overnight visitors from 3.8 million in 2023 to about 7.2 million in 2030, expand hotel room availability from 34,000 in 2023 to 52,000 by 2030, and further enhance the holiday home segment to diversify accommodation options.

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Nandika Chand