European tourism boom in Gulf countries


The GCC countries expect a boom of European tourists from 2018 to 2020.

According to latest data published by Arabian Travel Market 2018 as many as 24.6 million EU residents will travel to the GCC between now and 2020, an additional four million travelers when compared to figures for 2015-2017.

Arrivals from Europe to the GCC will increase 17 per cent

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is an organization of six oil-exporting countries. In 1981, the members created the council to foster economic, scientific, and business cooperation. The GCC’s headquarters is in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia, its largest member.

Are also members of the group The Kingdom of Bahrain, Kuwait, The Sultanate of Oman, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the largest of the GCC countries (28.5 million people) that has 16 percent of the world’s proven oil reserves with an GDP per capita of 55,300 American dollars.

The Middle East is one of the hottest international travel destinations for 2018. The region is becoming increasingly popular and new attractions are popping up all around. One of the most famous museums in the world, the Louvre now has a beautiful new venue in Abu Dabhi. This is a great addition to the already luxurious attractions the Emirate holds, such as the Emirates Palace and the Sheikh Zayed Grand.

The Saudi capital Riyadh with record-breaking skyscrapers and stylish restaurants, is the perfect place to get a true taste of tradition. Additionally, 2018  bringing a great change to Saudi Arabia, with women being legally allowed to drive in the coming year, allowing travelers to witness history happen.

In the mentioned two-year period the UAE is expected to receive 14.5 million Europeans, Saudi Arabia 5.4 million, Oman 2.21 million, Bahrain 1.72 million and Kuwait 738,000.

“While European tourists have previously travelled to the GCC for its luxury resorts, the growing numbers of millennial travelers, middle-class tourists and corporate travelers on a budget, are slowly changing traditional market trends, as is the growth in affordable, mid-market hotels combined with an increase in low-cost flights” according to a directive of Arabian Travel Market.

Besides Emirates’ new route to Stansted airport in the UK, Fly Dubai is scheduled to start flying to Krakow in Poland this month, further extending the carrier’s Eastern and Central European network, to 24 destinations, including Belgrade, Bratislava, Bucharest, Prague, Skopje, Sarajevo and Sofia,  the directive said.

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