By Staff writer
Mastercard index also names Abu Dhabi fastest growing city in the Middle East with almost 20% growth rate
Dubai has been ranked the number one destination city by international overnight visitor arrivals in the Middle East and the fourth globally, according to the annual Mastercard Global Destinations Cities Index.
It is projected to receive around 15.27 million international visitors in 2016, the index revealed.
“The biggest surprise in this year’s Index is Dubai’s jump to the top rank based on international visitor spending of $31.3 billion, far exceeding the second ranked London estimated at US$19.8 billion,” said Ann Cairns, President of International Markets, Mastercard.
Dubai followed number one ranked Bangkok, estimated to see 21.47 million visitors, and London and Paris, estimated to see 19.88 million visitors and 18.03 million visitors respectively.
Abu Dhabi was also ranked the fastest growing destination city in the Middle East with 81 percent growth, marking the United Arab Emirates as the most visited and fastest growing country in the region for the second year in a row.
The 2016 Index showed more people travel internationally for leisure, where travellers to the top most visited countries spent more on shopping as opposed to dining - except in Europe, where people spent more on meals in cities such as Amsterdam, Barcelona, Istanbul, Milan, Paris, Prague and Vienna.