UK sees 48% rise in summer sales of UAE dirham

Post Office figures reflect the growing popularity of the emirates for British travellers

A report by the Post Office, the UK’s biggest foreign currency provider, revealed sales of UAE dirhams surged nearly 50 percent year-on-year during July and August, underscoring the emirate’s increasing popularity as a holiday destination for British travellers.

The Post Office Travel Money’s Fastest Growing Currencies report for June-August reflects travel trends among British tourists and which locations have proved popular this summer.

“Dubai seems to have been the major beneficiary of an understandable fall-off in demand for trips to Egypt,” the report said. With transactions in UAE dirhams up 48 percent between June and August, compared with 12 months ago, the currency was ranked eighth place in the table of fastest growing currencies, its highest ever position.

Topping the list was Vietnam, with sales of the Vietnamese dong up 106 percent over the same period. Australia was not far behind, with sales of the Australian dollar surging 98 percent.

Third was the New Zealand dollar (up 86 percent), followed by the Dominican Republic peso oro (up 76 percent), Russian ruble (up 75 percent) and South African rand (up 67 percent).

With the UAE dirham in eighth, making up the top 10 were the Malaysian ringgt (up 44 percent) and the Japanese yen and Kenyan shilling both up 40 percent.

“Destinations further afield again proved the big winners in the drive to attract UK holidaymakers during the summer,” said Andrew Brown of Post Office Travel Money.

The results reflect recent figures which showed more than 5.5 million tourists visited Dubai in the first half of 2013, representing an 11.1 percent year-on-year increase.

The first half visitor number results, released by Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) in July, show increases across all key indicators, including hotel establishment guests, hotel and hotel apartment revenues, room occupancy and average length of stay.

Revenues for hoteliers and hotel apartment operators saw significant growth – with total first half revenues reaching AED11.62bn ($3.18bn) up by 18.6 percent.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai earlier this year announced a strategy to double annual visitor numbers to 20 million in 2020.

Dubai’s top 10 tourism source markets remained the same as those for the first half of 2012, with Saudi Arabia, India, UK, USA, Russia, Germany, Kuwait, Oman, China and Iran topping the list.

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