Dubai's tourism revenues hit $4.36bn in 2011

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The number of tourists visiting Dubai rose by 10 percent to total 9.3 million in 2011, according to official figures released on Wednesday.

Data published by Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) also showed the number of guest nights rose by 23 percent to more than 33 million last year.

Revenues also grew by 20 percent to touch AED16bn ($4.36bn) as the emirate managed to withstand any impact from regional unrest.

The data also showed that the average length of stay swelled 12 percent to 3.6 days as visitors chose Dubai over trouble-hit alternatives such as Egypt and Bahrain.

Hotels and hotel apartments' occupancy averaged 74 percent during the year, the DTCM said, adding that the improved performance was the result of "aggressive" marketing and promotional initiatives.

The results were released on Wednesday at the ITB-2012 event in Berlin.

Khalid A bin Sulayem, DTCM director general, said: "We have been successful in boosting the number of tourists to Dubai due to our initiatives to enhance our position in established markets and tap new and emerging tourism source markets.

"The substantial gains by hotels and hotel apartments reflect, once again, the vibrancy and dynamism of the tourism industry in the emirate."

He said the contribution of cruise tourism to Dubai tourism industry's growth has also increased last year.

In 2011, Saudi Arabia emerged as the top source market for Dubai's tourism industry with 873,152 guests, followed by India (702,142), UK (643,196), Iran (476,708) and the US (462,653).

Germany ranked sixth with 275,663 guests, while Kuwait and Russia scooped seventh and eighth positions with 273,253 and 255,746 guests, respectively. Oman was ninth on the list with 223,993 guests followed by Pakistan (221,374).

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