The Middle East/GCC represents an important opportunity for the development of tourism to the island of Ireland and Tourism Ireland is committed to growing travel from this market over the coming years. The GCC accounts for approximately 70% of tourist arrivals from the Middle East.
Tourism Ireland estimates that visitor numbers from the GCC to the island of Ireland increased by around +10% in 2014.
Further growth is anticipated for 2015 and early indications are positive. There have been significant developments in air access from the Middle East to the island of Ireland in recent years, with double-daily direct flights from Abu Dhabi and Dubai to Dublin and a range of indirect flights via European and other hubs. The new British-Irish Visa Scheme is also making it easier for visitors from the GCC to come here.