Dubai Tourism has released its annual visitor figures showing the emirates attracted 14.9 million overnight visitors in 2016, recording a healthy five per cent increase over 2015.
The figure also represents an impressive four-year compound annual growth rate of eight per cent since Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, ruler of Dubai, launched the 2020 tourism strategy.
This performance trajectory which reflects twice the global travel industry growth of circa four per cent over the same period as forecasted by the United Nations World Travel Organisation, cements the foundation for Dubai Tourism to maintain stable momentum over the next three years and attain its 2020 goals.
The UK retained its position as Dubai’s number three market, following the Gulf Cooperation Council (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates) and Western Europe.
The UK brought in nearly 1.25 million visitors, while Germany stayed comfortably within the top ten list maintaining stable performance with 460,000 visitors.
The strong performance of the emirate’s tourism industry amidst a particularly turbulent year across the world assures progress towards not only the annual target of 20 million visitors by 2020, but also the increased sector-driven economic contribution to Dubai’s GDP.
In what is an assertive reinforcement of the tourism sector’s resilience and competitiveness, Dubai has continued to grow its share of outbound travel market despite three of its largest source markets witnessing unique disruptions, coupled with debilitating international factors and a cautious global consumer sentiment that characterised 2016.
Helal Saeed Almarri, director general, Dubai Tourism, said: “With our international overnight traffic reaching 14.9 million, Dubai has cemented its ranking as the fourth most visited city in the world, critically delivering the highest value to the domestic economy with our number one ranking in terms of spend per tourist compared to any other competitor destination.
“From a governmental perspective, in addition to streamlining visa requirements and easing barriers to entry for tourists from all parts of the world, we have also been working on enabling airlift and direct connectivity to Dubai to ensure that we, as a destination, are able to offer the convenience and accessibility that are key decision-triggers for prospective travellers.
“Our traditional core markets spanning the GCC, India, UK and Germany, continue to deliver over forty per cent of our tourism traffic and we remain committed to investing further in driving greater penetration and frequency from these bases where we have built a credible recognition of the Dubai destination offering.
“Our on-going goal here is to further build advocacy, and continuously communicate the evolution of our city’s proposition so visitors can start to extend their stays and return more regularly to discover a new side to Dubai.”