UAE Looks to Domestic Tourism, Desert Winter to Boost Revenue

The United Arab Emirates started a campaign to encourage local tourism and promote its desert winters, as it looks to recover from the impact of the pandemic.

“The Most Beautiful Winter in the World” program is part of an effort to double domestic tourism’s 41 billion dirhams ($11 billion) contribution to the economy, Vice President and Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum said in a tweet Saturday.

The UAE, which is reliant on energy and tourism, was hit this year due to the coronavirus and low oil prices, underscoring the need to find new sources of funds. The potential full public use of a China-backed Covid-19 vaccine could allow for a re-opening of the Gulf nation’s economy.

The oil-rich nation’s economic output is set to shrink 6.6% this year, according to the International Monetary Fund, while its budget shortfall is seen widening to the highest ever.

The UAE also launched a unified tourism identity across its seven emirates, and a government strategy to promote domestic tourism.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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