If we had to pick just one thing that we love about the UAE, it would have to be the sheer diversity of what you can do here - which is thanks to a well-matured hospitality sector. The UAE really is the hospitality hub that has it all, which makes it a top spot for businesses and customers alike. If by any chance you still need convincing that it is the place to be, read on for a little something to whet your appetite.
Expo 2020 gave the UAE's hospitality sector, and hotels in particular, a massive boost.
A report released by the UAE's Ministry of Economy revealed that as of Q1 2022 the country's hospitality sector had gone above and beyond pre-pandemic performance. From January-March 2022, nearly six million guests checked into hotels in the UAE. The combined revenues from hotels hit US$3 billion (AED11 billion) in the first three months of the year. This was up 20% compared to 2019 - the closest comparable year given the global impact of the pandemic in 2020-2021.
It might be easy to say that the industry's success so far this year is nothing more than a flash in the pan, but the fact is it's anything but. Concerted efforts driven by the leadership in each emirate, as well as on a federal level, have led to the creation of a sector that thrives due to its diversity - and rightly so, given that hotels and restaurants accounted for 21.3% of the UAE's GDP in 2021.
The hospitality industry accounted for 21.3% of the UAE's GDP in 2021.
Certainly big global events bring in plenty of business, but the UAE's created an environment that welcomes people all year round... and, of course, it provides plenty of opportunities for the people who call the country home to spend their money here, rather than having to go overseas.
There's pretty much something for everyone - from high luxury vacationing to budget-friendly beach trips, serene staycations to adrenaline-rush adventuring, and everything in between.
Here's our top 10 reasons that make the UAE the ultimate hospitality destination.
1. Spoilt for choice
There's been a welcome upsurge in high quality three- and four-star hotels recently, but let's face it, the UAE is known for its ultra-luxe hotels. Dubai alone has close to 140 5-star hotels, including a combination of home-grown brands and renowned global institutions.
2. Celebrate the unexpected
It isn't all about that luxe life though - there are plenty of hotels offering oodles of character, quirk and 'Instagrammableness'. From the boho vibes of the XVA Art Hotel to the fab Hotel Zabeel House and everything in between (trust us, there is a lot of in between!), there is something for everyone's taste.
3. Stay for...free?
Ok, technically not for free - but did you know that at 25hours Hotel Dubai One Central you can trade in your own items, possibly even for a free night's stay?
4. Get back to nature
Ras Al Khaimah's government has invested heavily in making the emirate the go-to spot for all things outdoorsy and adventurous. They've even lured in the infamous Bear Grylls, who set up the world's first Bear Grylls Explorers Camp... where we've been told you can eat worms. Actual, real worms. Yum?
5. A foodie's heaven
Feeling queasy after that last fact? This'll set you right. The UAE is home to people of more than 200 nationalities, and that certainly reflects on the massive variety available within the dining scene. Whatever your cravings, the chances are you'll find it - from Georgian khachapuri to Brazilian feijoada, Australian bushtucker to South African bunny chow.
6. US$816 ice cream
... and that's just for one scoop! At Scoopi in Dubai you can buy one of the world's most expensive ice creams, the Black Diamond. For AED3,000, you'll get a scoop of ice cream that's made fresh to order, with flavours of Madagascar vanilla, Iranian saffron, and black truffle. It's served in a Versace bowl that you get to keep.
7. Dining with the stars
There are around 20 celebrity chefs who've set up restaurants in the UAE, many of whom hold several Michelin stars gathered throughout their culinary careers. From TV favourites such as Gordon Ramsay to icons the likes of Daniel Boulud, Massimo Bottura, and Nobu Matsuhisa, there's plenty to choose from.
8. TV dinners... with a twist
You'll find the world's first MasterChef inspired restaurant in Dubai. Aptly named MasterChef, the TV Experience, the restaurant's menu features dishes created by contestants on the show. Fans of the show will especially love that fact that you can order a Mystery Box for the chef to create something entirely unique, just for your table.
9. Indoor thrills
When temperatures start to soar, there's still plenty of fun to be had - such as at one of the UAE's numerous indoor theme parks. From Ski Dubai, the region's first indoor ski slope, to getting your speed fix on the world's fastest rollercoaster in Abu Dhabi's Ferrari World. Formula Rossa can reach up to 240kph and is capable of travelling 52 metres upwards in 4.9 seconds, which is pretty impressive.
10. Dive deep
Another record-breaking place to visit is Deep Dive Dubai, which is the world's deepest swimming pool for diving. You can dive down 60 metres to explore an underwater city, complete with caves, chess boards, and more.
... and that's just scratching the surface of what makes the UAE's hospitality sector so exciting, diverse, and appealing on a global level.
In Q1 2022 alone, Dubai welcomed nearly 4 million international visitors. Yes, this is likely linked to Expo 2020 - but the fact is that Dubai frequently ranks highly as one of the world's must-visit cities, making it a perennially popular choice for tourists.
With Abu Dhabi and Ras Al Khaimah pumping up their hospitality appeal, and of course the upcoming FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 expected to bring in a host of tourists travelling via the UAE on the country's two major carriers, things look exceptionally rosy.
Let’s get in touch!
We’d love to explore how we may be able to support you with your guest experience, so please reach out and someone from our team will be in touch shortly.
PO Box 393942, Dubai, UAE