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Tue 7 Nov 2017 02:02 PM

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Dubai posts 7.5% rise in tourists in first nine months of 2017

A total of 11.58 million international overnight visitors arrived in Dubai between January and September

Dubai posts 7.5% rise in tourists in first nine months of 2017

Dubai is on track for another record year in terms of tourist volumes, according to the latest data released by Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism).

A total of 11.58 million international overnight visitors arrived in Dubai during the first nine months of 2017, up 7.5 percent over the same period last year.

India retained top spot on Dubai’s list of source markets for inbound tourism, with 1,478,000 Indian tourists arriving in the city between January and September, registering a 20 percent rise over the same period in 2016 after the emirate teamed up with Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan for a tourism video.

China stayed in fifth place with 49 percent year-on-year growth, delivering 573,000 visitors in the first nine months of the year after Chinese citizens were granted free visa-on-arrival access to the UAE.

Saudi Arabia and the UK also retained their positions as Dubai’s second and third largest feeder markets respectively, the figures showed.

A total of 1,250,000 Saudis arrived in the emirate between January and September, a slight drop compared to the first nine months of 2016, reflecting the ongoing economic challenges facing Saudi Arabia.

Almost all the top 10 markets – with the exception of Oman and Kuwait, which saw declines of 23 and 3 per cent respectively – posted healthy increases in tourist traffic, including the US (up 6 percent), Pakistan (4 percent), Iran (16 percent) and Germany (6 percent).

Helal Saeed Almarri, director general, Dubai Tourism, said: “The sustained growth ahead of the global average that we have witnessed so far this year is indicative of the positive impact yielded by our consolidated strategy across regulatory measures, promotional efforts, trade initiatives and partner programmes.

"Ultimately, our aim is to make every satisfied Dubai visitor our customer for life and our strongest advocate, in order to drive not only higher repeat traffic but also acquire newer audiences most efficiently, as we strive towards our 20 million target by 2020.”

Dubai’s hotel sector also saw significant growth, with the city’s total number of hotel and hotel apartment keys standing at 106,167 at the end of the third quarter of 2017.

Average occupancy stood at 76 percent, remaining unchanged from the end of Q3 2016. Occupied room nights were up year on year, totalling 21.27 million compared to 20.45 million at the end of September 2016, while guests’ average length of stay decreased very slightly from 3.6 to 3.5 nights, in part due to an increase in stopover travellers.

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