DUBAI: The UAE has been named the most competitive economy for travel and tourism in the Middle East and North Africa, according to a new report from the World Economic Forum (WEF).
The UAE, which welcomed 14.4 million international visitors in 2015, has been ranked number one in the Middle East region for business environment, safety and security, human resources, transport infrastructure and ICT readiness, among many others.
Globally, the UAE ranked 29th on the list, followed by Qatar (47th position) in the overall ranking for the Middle East, with Bahrain (60th position), Israel (61st position) and Saudi Arabia (63rd position) closing in the region’s top five.
“The United Arab Emirates continues to offer an outstanding business environment to invest in travel and tourism activities (ranked 5th globally), with advanced ICT readiness (15th best in the world) and one of the best air transport infrastructures in the world (3rd), in terms of both connectivity and quality of the service,” said the report.
“It is also one of the most secure destinations (2nd), and has a well-developed hospitality and entertainment infrastructure (27th).”
To improve its competitiveness further, the UAE should focus on becoming more open (75th), expanding its health facilities, and making better use of its natural resources (90th). While the UAE has significantly developed certain segments of cultural tourism, including international conferences and car racing, natural tourism remains an untapped resource for the country.