UAE spa tourism likely to double by 2017: Report

The UAE is leading spa tourism in the Middle East and North Africa, with visitor numbers set to double by 2017, the Global Wellness Institute (GWI) has reported.


GWI identified the Mena region as the second fastest-growing market in the world for spas, behind Sub-Saharan Africa, with the UAE set to add just under one million trips from 2012-17.

A report published by Euromonitor International for The Leisure Show Dubai 2015 also revealed that the UAE spa market is booming, with revenues of $411 million forecast for 2015.

Susie Ellis, chairman and CEO of GWI, said: “The Global Wellness Institute estimates that the top spa growth powerhouse, more than doubling wellness-focused trips from 2012-2017, will be the UAE, with 993,352 trips added and 17.9 per cent annual growth.”

Other growth markets include Morocco, set to add 825,703 visits and with 14.7 per cent annual growth, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Algeria, also set to see double-digit annual wellness tourism growth to 2017.

GWI attributes the luxury day spa, hotel spa and spa resort “explosion” in the GCC countries as a major factor behind the region’s spa market boom. Euromonitor forecast spa revenues in the UAE will reach $495 million by 2019.

“GWI identify Dubai as the leading growth market in the GCC countries. The Dubai hospitality market is unique in that it is over-saturated with luxury 5-Star resorts and is home to the only 7-Star hotel in the world,” said Christine Davidson, group event director of the dmg events hospitality portfolio including The Leisure Show and The Hotel Show.

“Within these properties a unique range of extravagant spa treatments have emerged including Dubai’s most luxurious offering, a 24-carat-gold facial, available at the Jumeirah Zabeel Saray.

Dubai’s world-class hotel spas and day spas target the growing number of international tourists, the fast-growing local luxury segment and its growing expat community, which is one of the largest in the world,” she added.

“So it’s quite appropriate that this year world-class pool and spa suppliers will be in Dubai for the second annual The Leisure Show and the Middle East Pool and Spa Awards 2015 in September.”