The Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah was chosen as the capital of Gulf tourism during the fourth meeting on tourism in the Gulf Cooperation Council, which was held today, in the Omani capital Muscat, in the presence and participation of the State delegation headed by Mohammed Khamis Al Muhairi, Advisor to the Minister of Economy for Tourism Affairs.

Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri said that the choice of Ras Al Khaimah as the capital of Gulf tourism confirms the leading position of the UAE as a distinct and sustainable tourism destination and reflects the attractiveness, diversity and competitiveness of the tourist destinations in the UAE. The world, praising the decision of ministers and officials of tourism in the GCC countries to choose Ras Al Khaimah as the tourism capital in the Gulf region.

He added that the UAE, based on the guidance of its wise leadership, has placed the tourism sector among the development priorities because of its role in advancing sustainable development and supporting efforts to build the post-oil economy, where all the UAE invested in the field of tourism development and increase the number of tourism facilities and provide advanced and innovative tourism services. He pointed out that the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah has all the ingredients to be a distinct tourist capital, where it enjoys a variety of natural, historical and heritage, hotels and resorts with world-leading, as well as excellence in adventure tourism, where it includes the highest mountain in the country, Mount Jess, and the longest R sliding in the world meant adventures tourists from different countries.

For his part, Mohammed Khamis Al Muhairi, Advisor to the Minister of Economy for Tourism Affairs, said that the tourism sector in the UAE has gained increasing attention over the past two decades to become one of the most prominent areas of interest in the development policies of the country. Tourism and infrastructure development, destinations and tourist facilities.

During the meeting, he reviewed the most prominent tourism indicators achieved by the State, pointing out that the number of hotel guests reached 25.6 million in 2018, a growth of 3.8% compared to 2017, and by 80.4 million hotel nights, an increase of 3% over 2017. 1117 hotel comprises 173.4 hotel rooms
Occupancy averaged 73.5%. International visitors make up 83% of hotel guests, compared to 17% for in-country guests.

Al Muhairi added that according to the report of the World Travel and Tourism Council issued in 2019 data for 2018, the total contribution of the tourism sector amounted to 11.1% of the gross national product of the UAE, equivalent to 164.7 billion dirhams, and is expected to increase this contribution by 3% during 2019 He pointed out that tourism contributed about 9.6% of the total labor market in the country in 2018, an estimated 611.5 thousand jobs, and the contribution of the sector is expected to increase by 2.8% during 2019.

Al-Muhairi said that visitor spending in 2018 amounted to AED 136.8 billion, or 8.6% of the country's total exports.This spending is expected to increase by 4.1% during 2019.Tourism investments in the country amounted to AED 26.4 billion, equivalent to 8.1%. % Of total investments in the country in 2018.