Factors driving UAE as the leader of the MENA Wellness Tourism Market

Tourism in UAE is one of the most lucrative sectors in earning foreign revenues for quite some time. Today, going with the rising craze of medical and wellness tourism, the country is indeed putting up a great show in these niche markets as well.

Every year, the country sees a huge number of tourist footfalls from all corners of the world. To add more attraction to the high-spending foreign tourists, UAE is fast growing in wellness and spa tourism tapping its inherent potential intelligently. Dubai can boast of housing one of the world’s best therapeutic facilities along with world class expertise in the spa sector.

As per the research reports revealed by GWI (Global Wellness Institute), the MENA (Middle East North Africa) wellness tourism market is poised for a dramatic growth predicting UAE as the leader followed by Israel and Morocco.

These 3 top leading countries were predicted to add about 1 million wellness trips by 2017 end. Interestingly enough, Tunisia and Jordan are also fast catching up contributing a handsome percentage in the global wellness and spa tourism market.

The prediction turned out to be true!

tourism sector growth

Today, UAE is marching much ahead recording 1.7 million wellness trips annually on an average generating a whopping $2.7 billion revenue. In comparison to the country’s overall tourism sector growth by 8.1%, the wellness tourism grew by 17.9% since last five years. The country contributes 14% of the MENA spa market amidst other top performers in the Arab region. [http://www.arabianbusiness.com]

Stupendous growth of inbound wellness and Spa tourism:

 international tourist spends more than 130%

As per the research by Arabian Travel Market (ATM), wellness tourism is much more popular than conventional tourism where an international tourist spends more than 130% on an average than a conventional vacationer. This is providing an immense opportunity for the growth of MENA hospitality industry which has started bearing juicy fruits as evidenced by the growth of UAE wellness market.

There is another interesting observation as pointed out by GWI. Globally, wellness tourism thrives mainly through domestic travelers contributing 84% of the wellness trips and 2/3rd of the total wellness spending. Only 16% of wellness trips are international.

But in the MENA region, the scenario is totally opposite. Here, 63% of wellness trips and 75% of wellness expenditures come from the overseas tourists and the remaining fraction from the domestic customer sector. UAE is a globally reputed business hub that has seen a continuous business dealing with the leading groups that have created a sturdy base of business travelers from around the world.

Furthermore, the country has been successfully catering to the taste and requirements of high-end European, American and Asian travelers that have greatly helped in setting up a great ambience for the wellness and spa tourism market.

UAE, so far, has made the best utilization of the trend. Thanks to the opulence of wellness vacation opportunities and setting up of attractive high-end accommodations. These coupled with intelligent marketing strategies have helped the country to take the leading position in this segment.

In 2016  April, the Arabian Travel Market dedicated a specially designed space for the Spa industry in association with the Spafinder Wellness 365, a leader in the wellness marketing and wellness travel sector.

This has provided a strong coordinating platform for extensive networking with an objective to do better business. Active participation of the eminent business personalities from the travel and hospitality industry has further fuelled the growth of UAE wellness tourism market.

As a result, the Dubai Spa market experienced a 9% growth in the average number of treatments sold per day in the first half of 2016 compared to the previous year. The market is supposed to add 25 new hotel spas in 2017 taking the total count past 200.

First Wellness Symposium to be launched at the ATM (Arabian Travel Market) on April’17:

hospitality industry

The global wellness tourism market is not only growing at an unexpected rate, but it is evolving in interesting forms and exciting packages throwing challenges and creating opportunities for the hospitality industry in equal proportions.

Perhaps, this is one of the lucrative sectors offering ample scope to experiment and innovate providing every stakeholder to come up with attractive packages for the global wellness travelers.

April 2017 will also see the launching of the First Wellness Symposium at the ATM conducted in Dubai World Trade Center. The 2-day symposium to be held from April 25th-27th will go for a thorough analysis of the $8.3 billion MENA wellness tourism industry. This would also analyze the future wellness travel trends with due emphasis on checking the outbound Middle East tourism.

A huge gathering of eminent figures from the world’s most reputed wellness and hospitality destinations is expected that would further contribute to the growth of UAE’s wellness and spa market. With the rising wellness awareness among the global population, the country would be soon reaching new milestones defying competition from all corners of the globe.

Dr Prem Jagyasi (c)

Dr Prem is an award winning strategic leader, renowned author, publisher and highly acclaimed global speaker. Aside from publishing a bevy of life improvement guides, Dr Prem runs a network of 50 niche websites that attracts millions of readers across the globe. Thus far, Dr Prem has traveled to more than 40 countries, addressed numerous international conferences and offered his expert training and consultancy services to more than 150 international organizations. He also owns and leads a web services and technology business, supervised and managed by his eminent team. Dr Prem further takes great delight in travel photography.

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