UAE’s spending on family tourism set to increase by 4.4% in 2016

Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Dubai, (SM/IINA) : Total spending on family tourism in the UAE is projected to increase by 4.4 percent, according to a study conducted by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Meanwhile, the outbound family travel expenditure of Emirati citizens is set to rise at 3.6 percent this year, according to Zawya economic news.

The study coincides with the 3rd Global Islamic Economy Summit, with the theme of “Inspiring Change”, will be held in Dubai on October 11 and 12, under the patronage of Sheikh Mohammed Al Maktoum, vice president and prime minister of the UAE and ruler of Dubai, and tackles family tourism as one of a spectrum of subjects under the Islamic economy label.

The UAE is considered both a top origin and top destination country for family tourism, an umbrella term used to refer to the body of Shariah-compliant, halal travel offerings.

The Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) for 2016 ranked Malaysia first in the world in terms of Muslim travel friendliness. Meanwhile, the UAE moved up one spot to 2nd place, effectively replacing Turkey. Singapore kept its lead among Non-OIC (Organization of Islamic Cooperation) nations, while Hong Kong managed to climb to 5th position this year, after it was ranked 7th in 2015.

The countries are rated based on a set of criteria, including: the country’s suitability for family holidays, the type of available Muslim-traveller-friendly services and facilities, and guides and other marketing initiatives dedicated to spreading awareness regarding Muslim travel services and facilities.

In tandem, Industry experts expect GCC families who seek cultural experience and Muslim-friendly facilities to increasingly target the UAE, Morocco, and Asian destinations such as Malaysia, Indonesia, India and the Philippines in 2016.

Furthermore, Singapore-based halal travel specialists CrescentRating predicted spending in the global Muslim travel segment to hit $200 billion by 2020, driven by the growth in the number of Muslim travellers from the current 117 million (11 percent of total global tourism) to an estimated 168 million travellers worldwide by 2020.

The Chamber’s study identified four key factors driving this growth in family travel, ranging from the above-average population growth in predominantly Muslim countries, and the healthy economic performance of Muslim communities, to the increasing access to travel information, and increasing availability of Muslim-friendly travel services and facilities.

What is more, the study reveals that five countries in the Middle East – namely, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Iran, and Qatar stand behind 40 percent of total Muslim expenditure on travel, while Southeast Asia leads by number of Muslim travellers by virtue of its populous countries such as Indonesia and Malaysia.

Furthermore, the study predicts new trends to emerge in 2016 with the potential to reshape local tourism. One such trend is the drive towards developing cruise tourism, whereby the emerging segment is expected to grow by 30 percent in the 2016-2017 season, as the emirate prepares to welcome 155 cruise vessels, carrying 650,000 visitors. This momentum creates new opportunities for Dubai-based family travel or Muslim travel agents, who could tailor destinations to suit the needs of Muslim travellers.

Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre and Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, with Thomson Reuters as a strategic partner, organize the Global Islamic Economy Summit 2016. The summit welcomes decision makers and business leaders from all around the world to discuss pressing issues that pertain to the seven pillars of the Islamic economy: finance, halal industries, family tourism, digital infrastructure, Islamic arts, knowledge, and standards. This year’s edition focuses on corporate social responsibility within the Islamic economy and pinpoints the potential contributions that the Islamic economy can make to improve people’s lives and achieve sustainable development.


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