Dubai maintains momentum in visitor arrival growth

Dubai maintains momentum in visitor arrival growth

Dubai has maintained its strong performance through 2017 and is on track for another record year in terms of tourist volumes.

According to the latest data released by Dubai’s Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing, a total of 11.58 million international overnight visitors arrived in Dubai during the first nine months of 2017.

This reflects a 7.5 per cent increase over the same period last year, underlining the strength of the emirate’s tourism industry as well as the growing appeal of Dubai as a global tourism destination of choice.

India retained top spot on Dubai’s list of source markets for inbound tourism, with 1,478,000 Indian tourists arriving in the city between January and September, registering a significant 20 per cent rise over the same period in 2016.

This increase affirmed the effectiveness of various innovative promotional activities driven by Dubai Tourism in the market, including highly successful influencer-led collaborations with Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan.

Meanwhile, China stayed in fifth place with impressively large 49 per cent year-on-year growth, delivering 573,000 visitors in the first nine months of the year and continuing to benefit from regulatory changes introduced in late 2016 granting Chinese citizens free visa-on-arrival access to the UAE.

Saudi Arabia and the UK also retained their positions as Dubai’s second and third largest feeder markets respectively.

A total of 1,250,000 Saudis and 905,000 British travellers arrived in the emirate between January and September 2017, the former showing a slight drop compared to the first nine months of 2016, reflecting the on-going economic challenges facing Saudi Arabia, while the UK witnessed a resilient two per cent year-on-year increase despite continued Brexit instability.

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Almost all the top ten markets – with the exception of Oman and Kuwait, which saw declines of 23 and three per cent respectively – posted healthy increases in tourist traffic, including sixth-placed USA up six per cent, seventh-placed Pakistan up four per cent, eighth-placed Iran up 16 per cent and ninth-placed Germany up six per cent.

From a regional perspective, the GCC emerged as the largest contributor of overnight visitor volumes, with a 21 per cent share compared to second-placed western Europe’s 20 per cent.

Helal Saeed Almarri, director general, Dubai Tourism, commented: “The sustained growth ahead of the global average that we have witnessed so far this year is indicative of the positive impact yielded by our consolidated strategy across regulatory measures, promotional efforts, trade initiatives and partner programmes.

“Even as we continually work to ensure Dubai’s proposition remains stellar and globally competitive, drawing on the concerted cross-industry efforts of all stakeholders, our priority remains the delivery of the highest levels of visitor satisfaction.

“Ultimately, our aim is to make every satisfied Dubai visitor our customer for life and our strongest advocate, in order to drive not only higher repeat traffic but also acquire newer audiences most efficiently, as we strive towards our 20 million target by 2020.”