Header Notice

Winter is here! Check out the winter wonderlands at these 5 amazing winter destinations in Montana

Which Small Persian Gulf Country Has Tourism Revenue Comparable To That Of Croatia?


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Faustina Eck



The beautiful country of Croatia, located in Southeast Europe, has long been a popular tourist destination. Its stunning coastline along the Adriatic Sea, rich cultural heritage, historical landmarks, and vibrant cities make it a magnet for travelers from around the world. Croatia’s tourism industry has experienced significant growth over the years, contributing to its economic development and making it one of the top revenue-generating sectors in the country.


Meanwhile, in the Persian Gulf region, there are several small countries known for their opulence, oil wealth, and luxurious lifestyles. Despite their small size, some of these countries have also made great strides in developing their tourism sectors and attracting visitors from far and wide.


In this article, we will explore one specific small Persian Gulf country that has tourism revenue comparable to that of Croatia. We will delve into the factors that contribute to its tourism success, and compare its tourism offerings with those of Croatia. By doing so, we hope to shed light on lesser-known but equally enchanting destinations that can rival Croatia in terms of tourism revenue.


Background of Persian Gulf countries

The Persian Gulf region is located in Western Asia and is home to several small countries that share coastlines along the Persian Gulf. These countries are known for their rich reserves of oil and natural gas, which have greatly contributed to their economic prosperity.


The countries in the Persian Gulf region include Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Oman. Each of these countries has its unique cultural heritage, history, and attractions that attract visitors from different parts of the world.


Despite their relatively small size and harsh climate, the Persian Gulf countries have harnessed their vast oil wealth to develop modern infrastructure and create diverse tourism offerings. They aim to position themselves as global tourism destinations, complementing their reputation as economic powerhouses.


Over the years, these countries have invested heavily in the development of luxury hotels, resorts, shopping malls, theme parks, and world-class amenities to cater to the needs and desires of international travelers. Additionally, they have sought to preserve and showcase their traditional culture, architecture, and natural beauty to create unique tourism experiences.


One of the key advantages of the Persian Gulf countries is their strategic location, which serves as a convenient gateway for travelers from Europe, Asia, and beyond. This accessibility, combined with their luxury offerings and cultural experiences, has boosted their appeal as tourist destinations.


Despite facing competition from other global tourist hotspots, the Persian Gulf countries have consistently attracted visitors with their hospitality, safety, and abundance of attractions. They offer a diverse range of activities such as desert safaris, water sports, cultural festivals, and culinary delights, providing an immersive and memorable experience for every traveler.


With their ongoing efforts to promote tourism and diversify their economies, the Persian Gulf countries continue to be significant players in the global tourism industry. One particular small country in this region has managed to achieve tourism revenue comparable to that of Croatia, and we will explore its success in the following sections.


Tourism in the Persian Gulf region

The Persian Gulf region, with its wealth, opulence, and unique cultural offerings, has emerged as a prominent tourism destination in recent years. The countries in this region have recognized the potential of the tourism sector as a driver of economic growth and employment opportunities. As a result, they have made concerted efforts to develop their tourism infrastructure and attract international visitors.


One of the main factors that contribute to the growth of tourism in the Persian Gulf region is its year-round warm climate. This makes it an appealing destination for travelers seeking a break from colder climates, especially during the winter months. The stunning beaches, clear azure waters, and the opportunity to indulge in a variety of water sports attract beach lovers and adventure enthusiasts alike.


In addition to the natural beauty, the Persian Gulf countries have focused on creating architectural marvels that serve as major tourist attractions. Iconic structures like the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the Kingdom Centre in Saudi Arabia, and the Museum of Islamic Art in Qatar are just a few examples of the remarkable architecture that draws tourists.


The region also boasts a rich cultural heritage, which is showcased through museums, galleries, and ancient archaeological sites. Visitors can explore the history and traditions of the region through visits to ancient forts, mosques, and traditional marketplaces.


As luxury destinations, the Persian Gulf countries have spared no expense in creating world-class hotels, resorts, and shopping centers. These cater to the discerning tastes of tourists looking for lavish experiences. From extravagant shopping malls like the Dubai Mall to luxurious resorts like the Atlantis, The Palm, the region offers a wide range of high-end amenities and indulgences.


In recent years, the Persian Gulf region has also become a hub for international events and entertainment. Sporting events like the Formula 1 Grand Prix in Bahrain, cultural festivals like the Dubai Shopping Festival, and international conferences attract visitors from all corners of the globe.


Furthermore, the Persian Gulf countries have placed significant emphasis on safety and security to provide a welcoming environment for tourists. With low crime rates and stringent safety measures, tourists can enjoy their visit without major concerns.


Overall, the Persian Gulf region has successfully positioned itself as a luxurious, culturally rich, and diverse destination. With its stunning landscapes, architectural wonders, rich history, and modern amenities, it continues to attract a growing number of tourists each year.


Overview of Croatia’s tourism revenue

Croatia has established itself as one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe, attracting millions of visitors each year. The tourism sector is a significant contributor to the Croatian economy, generating substantial revenue and providing employment opportunities across various industries.


The country’s diverse natural beauty, ranging from breathtaking coastlines along the Adriatic Sea to picturesque national parks, provides an idyllic backdrop for travelers. Croatia also boasts a rich historical and cultural heritage, with ancient cities and UNESCO World Heritage Sites that showcase its intriguing past.


In recent years, Croatia has witnessed a steady increase in tourism revenue. According to the Croatian National Tourist Board, in 2019, the country recorded 21.7 million tourist arrivals and 87.5 million overnight stays. These numbers represent a significant boost compared to previous years.


The tourism revenue generated in Croatia stems from various sources. Accommodation, including hotels, private rentals, and campsites, forms a significant portion of this revenue. The country offers a wide range of accommodation options to cater to different budgets and preferences, from luxury resorts to quaint seaside villas.


In addition to accommodation, other factors contribute to Croatia’s tourism revenue. One key aspect is the country’s gastronomy, known for its delicious Mediterranean cuisine and local specialties. Food and beverage establishments, including restaurants, cafes, and bars, play a vital role in attracting tourists and contributing to the economy.


Cultural and historical attractions, such as Dubrovnik’s medieval walls, Diocletian’s Palace in Split, and the Plitvice Lakes National Park, also play a significant role in driving tourism revenue. The preservation and promotion of Croatia’s cultural and natural heritage are key factors in attracting visitors.


Moreover, Croatia’s thriving cruise ship industry contributes to its tourism revenue. The country’s coastal cities, such as Dubrovnik, Split, and Zadar, serve as popular ports of call for cruise ships, allowing visitors to explore the country’s highlights in a convenient and efficient manner.


Another important element of Croatia’s tourism revenue is its offerings for adventure tourism. Activities like sailing, kayaking, hiking, and cycling have gained popularity among travelers who seek active and immersive experiences in Croatia’s stunning landscapes.


The government, along with private sector initiatives, has played a crucial role in promoting Croatia as a tourist destination. Various marketing campaigns and collaborations have been undertaken to increase awareness and attract visitors from different parts of the world. The positive exposure garnered from films and television shows, such as Game of Thrones, which featured locations in Croatia, has also contributed to its popularity among tourists.


Overall, Croatia’s tourism revenue demonstrates the country’s ability to captivate travelers with its natural beauty, historical sites, cultural experiences, and active pursuits. The industry’s continuous growth highlights the importance of tourism in Croatia’s economy and its position as a sought-after destination in Europe.


Small Persian Gulf country with comparable tourism revenue to Croatia

While Croatia is known for its tourism success and revenue generation, there is a lesser-known small Persian Gulf country that boasts comparable tourism revenue. That country is the United Arab Emirates (UAE).


The UAE is a federation of seven emirates, including Dubai and Abu Dhabi, and is renowned for its luxurious lifestyle, modern infrastructure, and world-class attractions. It has strategically positioned itself as a global hub for business, tourism, and entertainment, making it a top choice for international travelers.


The UAE’s tourism industry has undergone rapid expansion in recent decades, fueled by investments in infrastructure, cultural initiatives, and marketing campaigns. By capitalizing on its natural resources, such as stunning coastlines, vast deserts, and unique landscapes, the country has successfully attracted a significant number of tourists.


Dubai, the most populous and cosmopolitan emirate in the UAE, has been the main driver of the country’s tourism revenue. The city is known for its towering skyscrapers, luxurious hotels, extravagant shopping malls, and extravagant entertainment offerings. It has become a global travel destination, attracting visitors from all over the world.


Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE, is also a key contributor to the country’s tourism revenue. The city offers a mix of cultural experiences, historical landmarks, and modern attractions. The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, the Louvre Abu Dhabi, and the Yas Island theme parks are just a few examples of the captivating attractions that draw tourists.


Other emirates in the UAE, such as Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah, have also made significant strides in developing their tourism industries. Sharjah, in particular, has focused on promoting its rich cultural heritage, with numerous museums, art galleries, and traditional markets showcasing Emirati traditions and history.


One of the factors that contribute to the UAE’s tourism success is its connectivity. The country is home to one of the busiest airports in the world, Dubai International Airport, which serves as a major transit hub and facilitates easy access for international travelers.


Additionally, the UAE has hosted numerous international events and exhibitions, including the Dubai Expo 2020, attracting visitors and creating opportunities for business and leisure travelers alike.


The commitment of the UAE government to boost tourism, coupled with its continuous investment in innovative attractions and hospitality services, has propelled the country’s tourism revenue to levels comparable to that of Croatia.


While the UAE offers a distinct experience from Croatia, it shares certain similarities in terms of providing luxury, cultural diversity, and unique landscapes that cater to the desires of tourists seeking a more opulent and cosmopolitan travel experience.


Factors contributing to tourism revenue in the identified country

Several factors contribute to the impressive tourism revenue generated by the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The country has strategically focused on developing its tourism industry, making it one of the top destinations for international travelers. Here are some key factors that have contributed to the UAE’s tourism success and revenue:

  1. World-Class Infrastructure: The UAE has invested heavily in developing top-notch infrastructure to cater to the needs of tourists. Modern airports, well-connected transportation networks, luxury hotels, and state-of-the-art facilities ensure a seamless travel experience for visitors.
  2. Iconic Architecture: The UAE is synonymous with architectural marvels, with awe-inspiring structures such as the Burj Khalifa, Palm Jumeirah, and Burj Al Arab. These iconic landmarks have become major tourist attractions, drawing visitors who are captivated by their grandeur and innovation.
  3. Luxurious Hospitality: The UAE is renowned for its luxurious hospitality offerings. From ultra-luxury hotels to extravagant resorts, the country goes above and beyond to provide unforgettable experiences for tourists. Impeccable service, opulent amenities, and unique experiences ensure that visitors feel pampered and well taken care of.
  4. Diversified Tourism Offerings: The UAE offers a diverse range of tourism offerings to cater to different interests and preferences. From stunning beaches and water parks to vast deserts and thrilling adventure activities, there is something to suit every traveler’s taste. Furthermore, the country hosts international events, exhibitions, and festivals, attracting a wide range of visitors throughout the year.
  5. Cultural Experiences: Despite being a modern and cosmopolitan destination, the UAE has not forgotten its rich cultural heritage. The country showcases Emirati traditions through museums, historical sites, and cultural festivals. Visitors can partake in traditional activities, explore old neighborhoods, and gain insights into the local customs and traditions.
  6. Shopping and Entertainment: The UAE is a paradise for shoppers, with extravagant malls, bustling markets, and tax-free shopping opportunities. Dubai, in particular, has become synonymous with luxury shopping experiences. Additionally, the country offers a vibrant nightlife scene, with world-class entertainment options that include live performances, concerts, and shows.
  7. Safety and Security: The UAE places a high priority on safety, which is a key factor for many tourists when choosing a destination. The country has low crime rates, strict security measures, and a welcoming environment for visitors, ensuring a sense of security and peace of mind.

These factors, combined with the UAE’s marketing efforts, strategic positioning as a global hub, and its commitment to continuous innovation, have contributed to its impressive tourism revenue. The country has successfully positioned itself as an alluring destination, offering both luxury and cultural experiences, attracting travelers from around the world.


Comparison of tourism offerings between the UAE and Croatia

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Croatia are both renowned tourist destinations, attracting visitors with their unique offerings. While they differ in terms of culture, landscapes, and experiences, there are aspects that can be compared when it comes to their tourism offerings:


1. Beaches and Coastal Attractions: Croatia is famous for its stunning coastline along the Adriatic Sea, dotted with beautiful beaches and picturesque islands. Visitors can enjoy sunbathing, swimming, and water sports in the crystal-clear waters. The UAE, on the other hand, boasts pristine beaches along its coastline in destinations like Dubai and Abu Dhabi. However, the beaches in the UAE are often associated with luxurious resorts and offer a more extravagant and curated experience.


2. Historical and Cultural Sites: Croatia is steeped in history and offers a wealth of historical and cultural attractions. Ancient cities like Dubrovnik, Split, and Zadar boast well-preserved architecture, cobblestone streets, and historical landmarks. In contrast, the UAE showcases its rich Emirati heritage through modern architectural wonders like the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and traditional sites like Al Fahidi Historic District in Dubai. Both destinations provide insights into their unique histories.


3. Natural Landscapes: Croatia is renowned for its breathtaking national parks, such as Plitvice Lakes and Krka, offering mesmerizing waterfalls, lush forests, and picturesque hiking trails. The UAE, famous for its vast desert landscapes, offers visitors the opportunity to explore the mesmerizing sand dunes, partake in thrilling desert safaris, and even experience Bedouin culture.


4. Modern Attractions: The UAE is synonymous with modernity and opulence, offering iconic attractions like the Burj Khalifa, Palm Jumeirah, and Yas Island. These architectural marvels and entertainment hubs encompass luxury hotels, world-class shopping malls, theme parks, and immersive experiences. Croatia, while not as known for its modern attractions, offers a vibrant city life in places like Zagreb and Split, with bustling markets, trendy cafes, and a lively nightlife scene.


5. Gastronomy: Both countries offer unique gastronomic experiences. Croatia boasts a rich seafood-based cuisine influenced by Mediterranean flavors, while also offering Dalmatian and Istrian specialties. The UAE, known for its diverse international community, offers a culinary scene that caters to different tastes. Visitors can indulge in traditional Emirati dishes, as well as savor international cuisines in upscale restaurants and street food stalls.


6. Adventure and Activities: Croatia provides a wide range of adventurous activities, such as sailing along the Adriatic coast, hiking in the national parks, and exploring underwater caves. The UAE offers adrenaline-pumping experiences like dune bashing, sandboarding, and skydiving in the desert, as well as water sports and indoor skiing in Dubai.


While both the UAE and Croatia offer diverse and captivating tourism offerings, they cater to different travel preferences. Croatia provides a blend of historical charm, natural beauty, and coastal experiences, while the UAE presents a fusion of luxury, modernity, and cultural immersion. Both destinations promise unique and unforgettable experiences for every type of traveler.



Croatia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are two captivating destinations that have achieved impressive tourism revenue through their unique offerings. While Croatia entices visitors with its stunning coastlines, historical sites, and natural landscapes, the UAE attracts travelers with its luxurious hospitality, modern attractions, and rich cultural experiences.


Croatia’s tourism success is built upon its diverse range of attractions, from the magnificent Dalmatian coast to its rich cultural heritage. The country’s investment in infrastructure, preservation of historical landmarks, and commitment to providing a variety of tourism offerings have contributed to its growth in tourism revenue over the years.


The UAE, on the other hand, has positioned itself as a luxury destination, with extravagant architecture, world-class amenities, and an array of entertainment options. The country’s emphasis on modernity, cultural experiences, and safety has solidified its place as a prominent global tourism hub, attracting visitors from all corners of the world.


While each destination offers distinct experiences, they share similarities in their ability to cater to the desires of different types of travelers. Whether it’s Croatia’s sun-drenched beaches and historic cities or the UAE’s opulent resorts and iconic landmarks, both countries provide unique attractions and activities for tourists to enjoy.


It is remarkable to witness the success of a small Persian Gulf country like the UAE in achieving tourism revenue comparable to that of Croatia. The UAE’s commitment to continuous innovation, its development of world-class infrastructure, and its strategic marketing efforts have propelled its tourism industry to new heights.


As we explore and appreciate the tourism offerings of both Croatia and the UAE, it’s important to recognize the diversity of cultural experiences, natural landscapes, and luxurious amenities they provide. Whether visitors seek a relaxing beach vacation, an adventure in nature, or an indulgent city retreat, both destinations offer something special to make their visit memorable.


In conclusion, Croatia and the UAE demonstrate that even countries of different sizes and characteristics can achieve significant tourism revenue by capitalizing on their unique attractions and providing exceptional experiences for travelers. Both destinations showcase the power of the tourism industry in driving economic growth, creating employment opportunities, and fostering cultural exchange.