UAE is ranked first in the region and eighth worldwide for travel and tourism development

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The Travel and Tourism Development Index has the United Arab Emirates (UAE) at the top of the list as of a recent update. UAE has demonstrated its leadership in the Middle East and North Africa by taking the top spot and coming in at number eighteen worldwide in the most recent World Economic Forum index.

The index, which includes 119 economies, assesses a number of variables under five sub-indices: infrastructure and services, policy related to travel and tourism, natural and cultural resources, infrastructure and environment, and sustainability in the travel and tourist industry. The index is an essential strategic instrument that helps international organizations, governments, and companies shape the trajectory of the travel and tourism sector.

As in the previous edition, the United States is ranked first on the index, followed by Spain and Japan. The UAE and Saudi Arabia are the only two high-income economies to be listed in the top 10 for demonstrating appreciable performance gains between 2019 and 2024.

The Middle East has seen strong rates of recovery, with a 20% increase in foreign visitor arrivals over pre-pandemic levels. Furthermore, the recovery trajectories of Europe, Africa, and the Americas have been robust, with a combined return of 90% of pre-COVID-19 activity by 2023.

The World Economic Forum’s Head of Global Industries, Francisco Betti, emphasized the importance of this achievement and noted that 2024 will be a critical year for the travel and tourism industry. According to the analysis, there will be a surge in demand, more airline alternatives, improved international accessibility, and more investments in natural and cultural assets, resulting in a worldwide tourism industry rebound that will approach pre-crisis levels.