The tourism sector of Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), harvested a revenue of 8.68 billion dirhams (2.37 billion U.S. dollars) in 2006, local newspaper Gulf News reported on Saturday.
According to the report, international tourist arrivals in Abu Dhabi grew 12 percent to 1.35 million in 2006 from 1.21 million in 2005.
In 2006, the tourism sector's contribution to the Abu Dhabi's gross domestic product (GDP) hit 2.9 percent.
"But if you only calculate the non-oil GDP, tourism sector's contribution stands at 7.1 percent," Mubarak Al Muhairi, director- general of the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority, was quoted as saying.
Abu Dhabi has an ambitious plan for its tourism industry, aiming to be a high-end destination by attracting high spenders.
"We do not want Abu Dhabi to be a mass destination. It will be a destination of culture, heritage and museums. Culture and ecotourism will be the two key attractions in our overall tourism master plan," Al Muhairi said.
Abu Dhabi signed an agreement with France on Tuesday to build Louvre Abu Dhabi museum on its Saadiyat Island.
Besides the 24,000-square-meter Louvre Abu Dhabi, four additional museums will be built on the island, which is envisioned to be a world-class cultural destination.