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Connectivity: Among the reasons for the increase is a rise in the number of additional and direct flights to the region from China. Over the last decade, a number of airlines – including Emirates, Etihad, Saudia, Gulf Air, China Eastern and Air China, have introduced direct flights to and from the GCC to China. In the UAE alone, Emirates offers 38 weekly flights between the UAE and Chinese cities such as Beijing and Shanghai.
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More tourists: By the year 2030, China is expected to account for approximately a quarter of all international tourism, According to the report, about 400 million Chinese nationals will travel abroad – many of them for the first time – compared to 154 million in 2018. Saudi Arabia will experience the highest proportionate increase in arrivals in the region, with a compound annual growth rate of 33 percent between 2018 and 2022.
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Tailored offerings: In the last several years, tourism authorities and operators have unveiled offerings specifically tailored to the Chinese market. In the UAE, for example, the Hala China Initiative has announced plans to set up a dedicated Mandarin hotline and concierge service for visitors to Dubai. The announcement was followed by a Chinese film festival screening some of China's most popular blockbuster hits.