Focus Areas

Developing a Global Gateway

Hospitality and Tourism


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The United Arab Emirates boasts one of the most robust tourism and leisure industries in the Middle East and greater region. Offering a myriad of entertainment, shopping, and leisure activities, the gleaming cities of Dubai and Abu Dhabi have long been regarded as premier travel destinations for visitors from all over the world. Meanwhile, nearby Sharjah, known as the cultural center of the U.A.E., has witnessed an increase in the number of tourists flocking to its world-class art and heritage museums. Outside of these well-known urban centers, natural beauty and outdoor activities abound.

U.S. and U.A.E. companies have played instrumental roles in the growth of the U.A.E.’s tourism sector, which now account for 5.2% of the country’s GDP. Serving 159+ destinations, the U.A.E.’s two major airlines, Emirates and Etihad Airways, bring travelers from all over the world to the U.A.E. Meanwhile, leading hotel chains including Marriott International, Rosewood, and Jumeirah have invested heavily in the country and continue to establish world-class new properties across the Emirates.

The U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council plays an active role in bridging the interests of the U.S. and the U.A.E. in the tourism sector by convening discussions on the future of the sector with leading executives, publishing landmark reports and regular updates on the industry, and generating awareness of conferences and major events taking place in the U.A.E.

With Expo 2020 quickly approaching, the U.A.E. is expecting an increase in the number of visitors. The Business Council has worked with key stakeholders in the U.S. and U.A.E. governments and private sector to promote U.S. participation at the global mega event and showcase the work of its members.

As tourism in the U.A.E. continues to grow, the U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council will continue to work to support the efforts of American and Emirati leaders in aviation and hospitality.

Key Institutions