Hospitality Hotspots: The Latest Middle East & North Africa Tourism Statistics [2022-2023]

The latest Middle East & North Africa (MENA) tourism statistics from top-performing countries based on the latest third-party and TrustYou data [2022-2023]

Latest update: January 2024

MENA is a dynamic and diverse region with much to offer for leisure and business travelers: luxurious hotels and restaurants, rich culture and traditions, breathtaking scenery, and historical landmarks. 

The Global Tourism Leader

The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) travel industry benefited from one of the strongest recoveries, especially the Middle East. While the global recovery was estimated at 63% in 2022, arrivals in the Middle East reached 83% of pre-pandemic numbers. Hosting FIFA World Cup was a major contributor to the success and increase of tourism there.

The latest data from UNWTO shows that 2023 brought even more tourists to the region. Between January to September 2023, the Middle East registered 20% more arrivals compared to the same period in 2019, establishing its worldwide leadership position in terms of tourism performance.  

We looked at some key MENA players: Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt. In order to give you a complete overview of the tourism & hospitality sector, we compiled the latest third-party and TrustYou statistics.  
Guest reviews can be a great tool to understand how the hospitality industry performs, what drives guest satisfaction, and what can bring more bookings or visits. Discover how TrustYou can help your hotel and destination make the most out of collected guest reviews. 

Key Middle East & North Africa Tourism Players

#1 Qatar Tourism Statistics 2022-2023

Best Performing Destination Worldwide

Qatar is one of the leading tourism performers across MENA. Recently, UNWTO revealed the top-performing destinations worldwide for the first nine months of 2023, with Qatar ranking first, at +91% international tourist arrivals compared to 2019. 

Qatar World Cup 2022 Count Down Clock
Qatar was the first Arab country to host a FIFA World Cup.  

Since hosting the FIFA World Cup, Qatar’s tourism has registered an unprecedented boost. In November and December 2022, international arrivals more than tripled compared to the previous months. 

International Arrivals Registering Record Increases During The World Cup Source Qatar Tourism
International arrivals registering record increases during the World Cup, source: Qatar Tourism

2023 also started strong, with 2.34 million international arrivals until July 2023, almost double compared to 2019.

#2 United Arab Emirates Tourism Statistics 

When thinking about the Emirates, one place is at the top of the mind of almost every tourist: Dubai. In 2022, the iconic destination welcomed nearly 14.4 million overnight visitors, a 97% increase from 2021 and 86% of the 2019 volume  – above the global averages for recovery indicators. The occupancy rate also increased – from 67% in 2021 to 73% in 2022. 

The beginning of 2023 is more than encouraging. The first numbers for January and February show a 42% increase in tourism visitors compared to last year. 

Cheerful Asian Traveler Girl Walking On A Promenade In Dubai Marina District. Travel Destinations And Tourist Lifestyle In Uae
Dubai ranked first for the second consecutive time in TripAdvisors’ Travelers’ Choice of the Best Destination Awards 2023.

In 2023, a new decade starts for Dubai’s economy and tourism with the Dubai Economic Agenda D33. The strategy aims to double the size of Dubai’s economy by 2033 and place it among the top three global cities for tourism and business.  

Setting New Records in 2023

Dubai is among the few destinations that exceeded the 2019 numbers. In the first half of 2023, the luxurious city received  2% more tourists than in 2019.  The first quarter was particularly successful, setting an all-time performance record.  

According to the Tourism Performance Report launched by Dubai Tourism, the top three source markets were Western Europe (19%), South Asia (18%) and the Gulf Cooperation Countries (16%).  

#3 Saudi Arabia Tourism Statistics

Tourism Reaching New Heights

Another successful tourism story comes from the same region. Saudi Arabia has set a new record for foreign visitor spending between Q1 and Q3 2023. During the first three quarters of 2023, the total spending surpassed $26.6 billion (SAR100 billion) – 72% more than in the same period in 2022.  
It also ranked second in UNWTO’s top for best-performing destinations worldwide for the first nine months of 2023, with a 50% increase in international tourist arrivals, compared to 2019.

Three MENA countries, included in this blog, are part of the UNWTO’s top for best performing destinations in January-September 2023.

#4 Egypt Tourism Statistics 

An Ambitious Strategy

According to the recently adopted tourism strategy, the government aims to attract 30 million tourists by 2030. This will be possible if the yearly growth reaches 25%-30%.  

The Pyramids And Bedouins In The Desert Of Giza, Egypt
The Pyramids of Giza are an iconic destination attracting more than 14 million visitors yearly.

How Destinations, Hotels & Restaurants Can Stay Competitive and Attract More Travelers with TrustYou

TrustYou is a renowned software company specializing in data analysis, offering comprehensive insights into customer feedback for hotels, restaurants, and attractions worldwide. Our advanced technology, backed by proprietary semantic processing and AI, provides a wide range of analytics, key performance indicators (KPIs), and data points with endless applications in the travel industry and beyond.

Specifically, our Guest Experience (GX) Platform has become an indispensable tool for hoteliers, restaurants, and destinations. It simplifies the process of listening to customer feedback, empowering businesses to take prompt and effective action. By managing guest feedback effectively, hospitality providers can proactively address concerns, improve their online reputation, and ultimately increase revenue. The GX Platform facilitates seamless communication, enables businesses to understand reviews across various online platforms comprehensively, and leverages positive feedback to influence booking decisions.

Create inspiring, exciting, unforgettable experiences. Collect feedback. Attract more visitors.

Leading hotels and destination management organizations across Europe, the UAE, the Americas, and beyond trust our analytical expertise and rely on the extensive information we provide to assess and monitor the quality of offerings in their regions. TrustYou’s content is a benchmark for hotel standards, powers business intelligence and algorithms to measure traveler satisfaction, and guides strategic marketing decisions, including budget allocation.

Contact us today to find out how to keep your visitors happy every step of the way.

** due to the dynamic nature of the database, the numbers may vary if data was requested at an earlier / later stage.