One year into the delivery of Dubai’s ‘Tourism Vision for 2020’, significant first steps have been taken to achieve the target of attracting 20 million annual visitors by 2020, leading the emirate’s tourism authority to state a new ambition: for Dubai to become the world’s most visited city.
If a growth rate similar to that achieved in 2013 is maintained – a 10.6 per cent year-on-year increase equating to 11 million hotel guests – Dubai will achieve its Tourism Vision targets and with London currently holding the title of world’s most visited city.
The target stood at 16 million tourists annually in 2013.
His Excellency Helal Saeed Almarri, director-general of Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing said: “Since His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE vice president and prime minister and ruler of Dubai announced the Tourism Vision for 2020 at last year’s Arabian Travel Market, the UAE has won the right to host Expo 2020 in Dubai; the first phase of our second international airport has opened at Dubai World Central and a substantial number of new hotels, attractions and events have opened, taken place or been announced.
“Further, in addition to UAE federal pre-entry visa regulations on European Union member states being lifted, major legislative changes have been made which will directly and positively impact the tourism sector and enable us to attract more business and leisure travellers.”
His Excellency Helal Saeed Almarri added: “The Tourism Vision for 2020 is a framework which gives all of us in the tourism industry a clear and collective focus.
“The Vision has been embraced to its fullest by both governmental departments and the private sector – and this first year is just the beginning.
“During this year’s Arabian Travel Market the Dubai presence and the exhibits and announcements of our stakeholders will demonstrate that while the city is already seen as a must-visit destination, a continuous drive to innovate will lead to a constant reinvention of the visitor experience, creating one that is unrivalled anywhere else in the world.
“It is this collective industry commitment that makes us confident that we will be able to achieve our targets of attracting 20 million annual visitors by 2020, and inspires the ambition to eventually become the world’s most visited city.
“The pursuit of this ambition means that for the tourist the destination is constantly being enhanced with more attractions, more events, more hotels, world-leading infrastructure and services and a holiday experience which delivers beyond expectations – whether the tourist is visiting for the first time or is a repeat guest.”
The most exciting highlight on the horizon for Dubai is the right to host Expo 2020 in little over six years.
Dubai has a long history of facilitating connections and pioneering new ideas and Dubai Expo 2020 would be no different, with a predicted 70 per cent of the expected 25 million visitors originating from outside the host nation, making it the most international event in the history of Expo.
It will therefore provide a unique platform for the global community to come together and explore creative and pioneering solutions to the three sub themes which have been identified as key drivers of global development: sustainability, mobility and opportunity.
Expo 2020 in Dubai will be the first to be held in the Middle East, North Africa and south Asia region.
As the global community faces ever more complex, and increasingly interconnected challenges, the links between people, societies and ideas have never been more important.
Dubai Expo 2020 will be a platform for connectivity to help pioneer new partnerships for growth and sustainability for the future.
World Travel Awards
Dubai recently secured another milstone on its tourism ascendancy, being recognised by the World Travel Awards and the Middle East’s Leading Destination and Middle East’s Leading Tourist Board.
There is more information on the destination on the official tourism website.