The UAE's tourism and shopping sector has been projected to grow at a healthy 6.
5 per cent annually until 2021, according to a study by the World Travel and Tourism Council.
The optimistic forecast is a massive boost to the prospects of the UAE's entertainment and shopping destinations, particularly new attractions like Al Shaab Village in Sharjah. This world-class mega-attraction has commenced operations in its first phase which is worth Dh100 million. Its second phase will be launched in six months, and is valued at Dh50 million.
The study goes on to zoom in on the precise types of tourism spending, and reveals that the vast majority of tourists' expenditure in the UAE, at 74.7 per cent, was devoted to leisure activities. The news will be welcomed by destinations that excel in leisure attractions.
Al Shaab Village, for instance, has state-of-the-art amenities for family leisure, entertainment, gaming, theatre, art, culture and wellness, to compliment its retail therapy offerings.
The secret to the UAE's tourism and shopping boom has been attributed to the diversification of its offerings, which lures visitors of all ages, nationalities, cultures and tastes. This is the rationale behind Al Shaab Village's mass market appeal, as it strives to cater to a broad spectrumfrom families to individuals, from young gaming enthusiasts to older cultural connoisseurs, from young couples bonding over romantic cuisine to older academics expanding their minds with the artistic and research offerings.
Al Zajil Fair Management chief executive officer Abdulla Al Dah was very upbeat about the growth projections.
âThese optimistic forecasts confirm our belief that this is the perfect time to launch Al Shaab Village. Although the UAE boasts numerous world-class tourist destinations, we have embraced this competition and challenged ourselves to deliver attractions that are more unique than the rest. By enticing more tourists to the country, this is our way of giving back to the emirate and to the UAE. It will bring ripple benefits to the infrastructure, the industry and the economy as a whole,â he said.
As further proof of the viability of the UAE's tourism and shopping sector, 100 per cent of the rental space at Al Shaab Village has already been booked by investors. Al Shaab Village expects a high turnout of shoppers, families and general pleasure seekers in its first phase which started recently. Located in central Sharjah, Al Shaab Village is the culmination of a joint venture between Al Shaab Club and Al Zajil Fair Management.