After a long wait of three years, the world’s second-largest economy, China, has finally reopened its doors on January 8, bidding farewell to Covid-19 restrictions and allowing travelers to enter and exit the country. That’s great, right? In this article, we can discuss Why reopening of China is good news for the UAE economy.
Anticipation of China’s Return
The global economy is eagerly anticipating China’s return, hoping for a much-needed boost. Among the industries expected to benefit most from China’s reopening are travel and tourism. Chinese travelers were the world’s top revenue source for international travel before the pandemic, contributing a staggering $253 billion to the global economy in 2019. Consequently, when other nations gradually eased their travel restrictions, the absence of Chinese tourists was deeply felt.
For the UAE, which is both a crucial economic trade partner and a favorite destination for Chinese visitors, China’s reopening brings welcome news. The UAE has recently launched its ‘Tourism Strategy 2031’ as part of the ‘Projects of the 50’ campaign, aiming to boost economic growth through non-oil revenues. The strategy envisions the tourism sector contributing Dhs450 billion to the GDP by 2031, positioning the Emirates as one of the world’s premier tourist destinations.
A Link Between Tourism and China Reopening
The UAE’s tourism industry breathes a sigh of relief with the reopening of China, particularly in Dubai, which is preparing to welcome back Chinese tourists. In 2019, out of the 17 million visitors to the city, nearly a million were from China. The absence of Chinese tourists for three years had a double impact on the UAE, as they were not only among the highest in numbers pre-Covid but were also significant spenders. Chinese consumers have accumulated around $836 billion in unspent savings during the pandemic, a portion of which is likely to be spent in tourism-rich cities like Dubai.
The gradual return to normalcy and the easing of restrictions will also provide a much-needed boost to the UAE’s aviation industry. In anticipation of increased demand from Chinese leisure and business travelers, UAE flag carriers, Etihad, and Emirates, are planning to ramp up UAE-China flights in the coming months.
Mutual Commitment of UAE & China Towards Development & Progress
The collaboration between the UAE and China is set to continue in the future, thanks to their shared commitment to development and progress. Already, cooperation in science and technology has proven mutually beneficial. In 2021, the two countries joined forces in a joint venture to develop and manufacture the Sinopharm/Hayat-Vax Covid-19 vaccine, the first to be produced in the Arab world. The success of this vaccination campaign, one of the fastest ever undertaken, may drive further life sciences and biotech collaborations between the two nations.
Exciting prospects depend ahead for future collaborations in space technology and exploration, artificial intelligence, 5G telecommunications, and genetic technology between the UAE and China. The reopening of China brings renewed optimism and opportunities for the UAE’s economy, fostering stronger ties between these two nations in various spheres of development and innovation.
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