Tourism flies high between UAE and UK
The tourism sector between the UAE and UK has been achieving remarkable growth in terms of the number of visitors and their spending.
Spurred on by the big increase in the number of travellers in both directions, both countries are looking for ways to sustain the momentum.
The number of tourists from the UK to the UAE is estimated at more than one million annually while more than 300,000 UAE residents are visiting the UK, Jonathon Davidson, chairman of the British Business Council said. Emiratis alone make up some 50,000 of the annual tourist flow from the UAE to the UK.
“More than one million British visitors travel to the UAE annually,” Davidson said.
Last year, VisitBritain, the national tourism agency that is responsible for marketing Britain worldwide and developing Britain’s tourism economy, announced that it would launch a marketing drive to attract more tourists from the UAE — the target being a 30 per cent increase in seven years.
VisitBritain is also hoping to enter a marketing deal with Emirates airline to help boost the country’s profile as a tourism destination, as well as to promote areas outside London.
According to the latest figures released by UK trade and investment authorities, more than 100,000 British citizens are resident in the UAE, and there are approximately 170 flights each week between the UAE and the UK, operated by British Airways, Etihad Airways and Emirates.
According to the latest report by VisitBritain, UAE travellers spent Dh6.6 million at Heathrow airport’s retailers in 2011.
Visitors from the GCC are the UK’s biggest spenders, splurging an average of Dh2,440 per head when they travel to the country.