Middle East/GCC

Middle East / GCC

Market Performance 

Outbound travel from the Middle East to the island of Ireland has seen significant growth in recent years. In 2019, Tourism Ireland estimates there were over 75,000 visitors from the Middle East to the island of Ireland. The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) includes six countries; United Arab Emirates (UAE), Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), Kuwait, Qatar, Oman and Bahrain. Visitor numbers to the island of Ireland is predicted to rebound to 2019 volume by 2023.

Direct Air Access 

A key factor influencing the growth of visitor numbers from the GCC to the island of Ireland is the significant advances in air access. Airlines operating direct flights from the Middle East to Ireland including, Emirates Airlines, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways. There are many one stop flights to Dublin and Belfast with International air carriers. 

Why should you target this market? 

In addition to direct flight access, an important factor influencing the significant growth in visitor numbers from the UAE to Ireland is visa free travel for all UAE nationals. 

Tourism Ireland are working hard to keep the island of Ireland industry front of mind for consumers when they can travel again. We want to work with you to support your business recovery and grow holiday bookings from this vital market. 

How to work with this market 

Throughout the year there are many ways we can work with you to promote your product or service to the Middle East market through e-marketing promotion and virtual in-market events.  

Upcoming Activity 

  • Middle East Sales Mission from the 13th - 17th February 2022.  
  • Golf Ireland Stand at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship and OMEGA Dubai Desert Classic. 
  • Discover Europe Travel Summit – a 3 day hosted buyers workshop in advance of ATM 2022. 
  • Digital opportunities through Tourism Ireland’s online platforms – Ireland.com, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. 
  • Publicity opportunities to promote your news, offers, products and experiences to consumers across the Middle East.  

Download our Middle East Social Media Factsheet here



Click here to view our complete market profile for the Middle East. 

Market contact: Siobhan Naughton