18-May-2011 1:04 PM

Regional unrest to boost tourism in stable Middle East states

CAPM Investment’s Mahdi Mattar, an Abu Dhabi-based economist, stated that Gulf Arab states that were least affected by regional unrest are likely to see a boost in tourism, with the UAE to outperform other destinations (Reuters, 17-May-2011). UAE Economy Minister Sultan bin Saeed al-Mansouri said earlier in Apr-2011 that the UAE had already seen an uptick in tourism in the first four months of 2011. Tourism contributes about 25% to Dubai's economy

CAPM Investment: "Dubai has benefitted drastically, with high occupancy rates, more tourists, and high retail numbers, because your average Arab who used to go to ... Jordan, Syria or Lebanon, or to Egypt find these countries suffering from unrest. They have adjusted to the next best thing which is Dubai. Also international tourists who used to go to Egypt and wanted to see a better weather are coming to Dubai," Mahdi Mattar, chief economist. Source: Reuters, 17-May-2011.

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