Dubai has seen one of the strongest growth rates in international visitor arrivals to leap up a global list of the world's top destination cities.
The emirate now sits in sixth place in the latest MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index, an analysis of international travel and visitor spending in 132 major cities.
According to the index, Dubai showed the strongest growth of the main contenders with 10.9 percent growth in their arrival numbers.
Bangkok was named 2013’s top destination city by international visitor arrivals as it surpassed London by the slimmest of margins.
This is the first time an Asian city is in the top position since the Index was launched in 2010. London is now followed by Paris, Singapore, New York, Istanbul, and Dubai.
Paris retains its number three ranking, but is the only destination city among the top 20 that shows a decline in the estimated number of international visitor arrivals.
If all top 10 destination cities maintain their current rates of growth in the next few years, then Dubai will surpass Singapore and New York in 2016 and Paris in 2017 to be the third top city, the report said.
It added: "If Istanbul is on the rise in Europe, its counterpart in the Middle East and Africa is unquestionably Dubai which retains its number one rank in the region.
"The news story coming out of Dubai is how much it has pulled away from the rest. Its international arrival number is almost twice that of Riyadh in second rank, and about four times as high as the third-ranked Johannesburg."For all the latest travel news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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