Residents’ Perceptions of the Impacts of Tourism Development: Empirical Evidence from UAE

Document Type : Original Research Articles



The United Arab Emirates is one of the most prosperous countries in the Middle East as regards travel and tourism development. In 2018, the net contribution of the travel and tourism industry represented 11.1% of UAE GDP. COVID-19 pandemic has had a major negative impact on the tourism industry in the UAE as well as around the world. The number of international tourists has dropped sharply and big events like Dubai Expo 2020 have been canceled or postponed. Considering COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on travel and tourism industry worldwide, the aim of the present study is to examine the perception of UAE residents about the economic, socio-cultural and environmental impacts of tourism. The study also aims to assess the influence of residents’ perceptions towards tourism impacts on their support for future tourism development. The study used the quantitative method to test the research hypotheses. 362 usable responses were collected from five different emirates in UAE. Data were analyzed using the advanced structural equation modeling (SEM) technique. The findings indicated a major disparity between locals’ and expatriates’ perceptions of the tourism impacts. Nevertheless, both groups continue to support the development of tourism in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Main Subjects