Expo 2020 mixed blessing for Dubai tourism

Expo 2020 mixed blessing for Dubai tourism

Hosting the EXPO 2020 trade fair will bring more than 17 million international visitors to Dubai reveals exclusive research released today (6 May) at WTM Vision Conference – Dubai.

The research, carried out by Euromonitor International, states that some 70% of the 25 million predicted visitors will be from outside the United Arab Emirates. It estimates that to accommodate this influx existing hotel stock will need to be doubled, warning “there are concerns about the potential oversupply of hotels after the Expo when visitors numbers will be hard to maintain.”

The UAE is highlighted in the research as a tourism bright spot in the Middle East, seeing an increase in visitor numbers this year compared with the rest of the region which is stagnant. The UK is the Emirate’s third most important source market after Saudi Arabia and India. In 2018, the UK will still be number three, although stronger growth will come from China, driven by “strengthening economic ties”.

Business and leisure tourism across the Middle East is helped by the region’s airlines and supporting airport infrastructure. Etihad, Emirates and Qatar airlines are leading the charge, although Euromonitor International adds that smaller carriers such as Oman Air, flydubai and Air Arabia are important players too.

The impact of “instability and unrest” on Egypt’s tourism is a drop in international visitors from 15 million in 2010 to 9 million in 2013, with receipts falling by 40% over the same period, says the report. Business travel from the GCC nations (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE) “remains relatively unaffected”, helped by an increase in flights from Dubai.

World Travel Market Senior Director Simon Press, who is opening the conference, said: “The UAE is a strong driver of global as well as regional tourism, buoyed by an impressive line-up of full service, low-cost and hybrid airlines. As travel patterns shift towards new markets, the Middle East is becoming front-of-mind for many tourism businesses.”

Hosted at Reed Travel Exhibitions’ Arabian Travel Market, WTM Vision – Shanghai takes place on 8 May and is the fourth in a series of six WTM Vision Conferences taking place across the globe in 2014.

The WTM Vision Conference Series started in Moscow on April 9, before moving to Sao Paulo (24 April) and Cape Town (2 May). After Dubai the series moves to Shanghai (8 May) and concludes in Rimini (9 October).

Delegates receive the Euromonitor International Report (worth £1,000) free of charge.

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About World Travel Market

World Travel Market, the leading global event for the travel industry, is the must-attend four-day business-to-business exhibition for the worldwide travel and tourism industry.

More than 50,000 senior travel industry professionals, government ministers and international press, embark on ExCeL – London every November to network, negotiate and discover the latest industry opinion and trends at WTM.

WTM, now in its 35th year, is the event where the travel industry conducts and concludes its deals.

WTM 2013 generated more than £2 billion of travel industry contracts, revealed independent research by Fusion Communications.

WTM is owned by the world’s leading events organiser Reed Exhibitions (RE), which organises a other portfolio’s of travel industry events including IBTM Events, the world’s leading showcases for the meetings and events industry and International Luxury Travel Market events.

In 2013, RE held more than 500 events in 40 countries bringing together more than six million people from around the world generating billions of dollars in business.

Reed Exhibitions

Reed Travel Exhibitions (RTE) is the world’s leading provider of exhibitions in the travel and tourism industry, with a wide-ranging portfolio of 21 international events in 14 countries throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and Africa.

Its market-leading, business-to-business events cover all elements of travel and tourism, including leisure travel, luxury travel, meetings, events, incentives and business travel, as well as golf, ski and spa travel.

RTE is part of Reed Exhibitions.


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