The increase in visitors to Abu Dhabi has crucial implications for the economic health of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as a whole, according to the Emirati capital's tourism director.
Saif Saeed Ghobash said that tourism ensures a path to lessening the UAE's historic reliance on hydrocarbons.
"At a national level, Abu Dhabi strives to diversify its GDP away from oil," Ghobash, director general of the Department of Culture and Tourism, told CNBC's Hadley Gamble. "And one of the key sectors enabling us to do that is the tourism sector, and its contributions will be direct and indirect."
Following the global oil price drop of 2015, petroleum-exporting countries have been searching for alternative means to obtain growth and revenues.
Though the UAE is the most economically diversified country in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), oil still constitutes roughly 30 percent of the state's GDP. The government aims to reduce this to 20 percent by 2021.