Dubai continues to recover from downturn

Luxury Middle Eastern destination Dubai has continued to recover from the global economic downturn, with visitor numbers increasing significantly in early 2010.

The emirate saw some 4.2 million holidaymakers during the first half of 2010, up nine per cent from the previous year.

Official statistics – complied by the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing – suggest the increase was driven by a rise in the number of visitors from Asia and the Gulf Arab region.

The number of guests travelling from Europe also increased by three per cent over the period, to 1.3 million, while visitors from the Americas were up seven per cent to 335,000.

The United Kingdom was Dubai’s biggest tourism partner, while Saudi Arabia came first regionally, officials added.

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Bright Future

The future of the United Arab Emirates tourism sector as a whole also received a boost recently, with a new report finding the federation will account for 86 per cent of tourism-related construction projects in the Gulf over the next eight years.

Carried out by industry researcher RNCOS, the report revealed $234bn is set to be invested over the period, with stated-funded projects in Abu Dhabi leading the way.

“The UAE has one of the fastest growing tourism industries in the Middle East,” explained the report.

“As a result, several new projects have been announced to tap the opportunity created by the growing demand for hotels and amusement and theme parks.”