Dubai has reported a strong surge in interest as the United Arab Emirate continues to recover from the global economic slump.
Releasing its latest figures earlier, Dubai Tourism & Commerce Marketing confirmed destination had hosted 8.3 million international guests in 2010, a 9.4 per cent increase over 2009.
Among the visitors, 6.6 million stayed in the emirate’s hotels - up seven per cent on 2009 - while the number of apartment guests grew 17 per cent to 1.7 million.
Delivering just over 700,000 guests, the UK retained its important position as the number one source market in the world to the destination, assisted by a nine per cent year on year growth in visitor numbers during the period October – December 2010.
In 2010 the number of international guest nights increased by 17 per cent to almost 27 million across all types of properties – almost 19 million in hotels and close to eight million in apartments.
The number two source market is India with 638,103 visitors.
Dubai Tourism and Commerce Marketing was recognised as the Middle East’s Leading Destination by the World Travel Awards in 2009.
Dubai in 2010
During the year, Dubai saw the opening of 33 new hotels and apartments, representing a six per cent capacity increase since 2009 to 573 establishments.
This now means that the emirate offers 70,955 rooms - up 15 per cent on the previous year.
Ian Scott, director UK and Ireland for the DTCM, said: “To record such impressive growth figures during what we all recognise was a tough trading period pays tribute to the continuous cooperation between the DTCM and its partners.
“This has ensured year round events, training and familiarisation trips for travel agents, PR activities, advertising and participation in exhibitions among many other activities.
“We continually strive to be the most proactive and supportive tourist board in the UK, and this momentum gives us every reason to be confident about 2011, a year which is already delivering year on year growth in visitor numbers.”
Last year saw tough market conditions and hotel rates coming under pressure, but tourism revenue in 2010 still exceeded 13 billion AED – up 6.5 per cent on 2009.
Hotel occupancy rate remained flat at 70 per cent, while apartment occupancy increased two per cent to 68 per cent, even taking into account the capacity increase.