Why 2030 will be the Golden Age of Travel in the Gulf

Why 2030 will be the Golden Age of Travel in the Gulf

Safety, accessibility and the world’s most ambitious tourism projects will herald the Golden Age

Connecting Travel, the Middle East’s leading travel and hospitality B2B media platform and flagship brand of Jacobs Media Group in the region, delivered a keynote presentation at Global Travel Week Middle East (pictured) revealing why 2030 would be the Golden Age of Travel for the GCC countries.

Connecting Travel Editorial Director Sarah Hedley Hymers said: “The GCC countries are about to enter a Golden Age of Travel. By 2030, each GCC country’s tourism vision will be coming to fruition, bringing some of the world’s most rewarding and ambitious tourist offerings to the market.”

Hymers highlighted Oman’s development of 14 tourism hubs around the country, from the dazzling Musandam coastline to the Frankincense Trail in Dhofar, as well as projects in the pipeline across the rest of the GCC, from Qatar’s cruise port development to Saudi Arabia’s upcoming mega-resort, The Rig.

The Rig, Saudi Arabia

Hymers added: “The GCC is at the crossroads of East and West, with two thirds the world’s population within an eight-hour flight or less, making GCC countries easily accessible. This is compounded by exciting developments in visa eligibility and air connectivity, with new flight paths opening all the time.”

By the year 2030, four of the six GCC countries have committed to the goal of attracting the following number of annual visitors:

  • Saudi Arabia: 100 million
  • UAE: 51 million+
  • Qatar: 6 million
  • Oman: 5.8 million


The Luxury of Safety
In addition to each country’s tourism visions, geographical location, visa eligibility and air connectivity, Hymers listed safety among the top five reasons 2030 would be the Golden Age of Travel for GCC countries, stating that it was today’s biggest luxury. Global Travel Week Middle East powered by Connections Luxury, is a trade event aimed at luxury travel buyers and suppliers, connecting the GCC and international markets.

Hymers said: “Safety is the biggest luxury that travellers desire today, and GCC countries consistently rank among the world’s safest. The UAE ranked as the 2nd-safest country in the world in 2021, according to an index of 134 countries, while the other Gulf countries all ranked within the top 25. Qatar was 3rd, Bahrain 12th, Kuwait 18th, Saudi Arabia 19th and Oman 25th. Meanwhile, in the Numbeo Crime Index, Qatar capital Doha has ranked as either the 1st or 2nd safest city in the world for the past five years.”

Hymers also addressed the safety afforded by low Covid-19 rates of infection and high rates of vaccination, commending the leadership of GCC governments for their handling of the pandemic, successfully guiding the region to its post-pandemic phase.

Both Connecting Travel and Connections Luxury are part of Jacobs Media Group, headquartered in London with offices in Dubai.

Opening Global Travel Week Middle East, Jacobs Media Group chairman Clive Jacobs said: “The past two years have challenged us in the most unimaginable ways and yet again, we have shown the resilience of our industry and I believe we emerge from this stronger and more focused.

As the global voice for the travel and hospitality industries, Jacobs Media Group offers an unrivalled multimedia portfolio, which connects, informs and inspires these dynamic and evolving sectors – Clive Jacobs

“In September of last year we launched a completely new concept, Global Travel Week, a brand-new annual travel trade event, an event conceived in our darkest hours and designed to help rebuild our sector. Following its success, we created this special luxury edition, which is based on our highly successful Connections model whereby we bring together key decision-makers in a way that is targeted, time-efficient, meaningful, stimulating and fun, and leads to building long-lasting business relationships.”

Oman’s natural beauty

Addressing the conference as the guest of honour, His Excellency Ibrahim Al Kharousi, Undersecretary for Heritage at the Sultanate of Oman Ministry of Heritage and Tourism said: “Global Travel Week will undoubtedly be a valuable addition to the travel and tourism industry. The Sultanate of Oman, ever welcoming, is a magnificent, beautiful country, with incredible attractions and sustainable travel choices. Our assets are our people, our majestic heritage and our natural beauty.

“The Ministry of Heritage and Tourism has taken several steps to boost tourism in the Sultanate of Oman and is currently implementing six key pillars to accelerate further growth for the sector. Each of the pillars aims to build a diversified and integrated tourism sector that benefits the historical, culture and natural heritage, and attract more investment to develop the tourism sector.”

Taking place from at Shangri-La Muscat and W Muscat, Global Travel Week Middle East powered by Connections Luxury, concluded 29 March.

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