Dubai accelerated its growth rate of visitors to the emirate, and moved closer towards its goal of welcoming 20 million visitors per year by 2020.
The number of overnight visitors in 2017 reached 15.79 million in 2017, a growth of 6.2 percent on the previous year, and higher than the previous year’s 5 percent growth rate.
India retained its top spot in terms of country-by-country visitors, with 2.1 million tourists in 2017, which was a 15 percent increase in year-on-year numbers.
Dubai Tourism said the numbers were boosted by its collaboration with Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan in the #BeMyGuest campaign.
Despite an overall 7 percent drop in numbers, Saudi Arabia provided the next highest number of visitors, with 1.53 million tourists last year.
Visitors from the UK were next on the list, with 1.27 million travellers, an increase of 2 percent.
The number arriving from China was up 41 percent (764,000), while the returning Russian tourists – boosted by the strength of the rouble – saw a 121 percent increase in visitors (530,000) on 2016. Dubai Tourism said the introduction visa-on-arrival facilities for visitors from China and Russia also increased the respective numbers.
“Our strong 6.2 per cent growth in 2017 has allowed us to ramp up the pace towards meeting our 2020 targets, and today Dubai’s travel and tourism sector is not only well positioned to offer a superlative destination experience across its eight core strategic propositions, but also geared to accelerate its appeal to the diverse and evolving needs of our global travellers,” said Helal Saeed Almarri, director general, Dubai Tourism.
As well as having a target for 2020, Almarri said Dubai also aims to become the most visited city in the world.
“With Dubai firmly consolidating its position as the fourth most visited city globally, we remain confident that our performance, backed by the continued strength of our partnerships across government and private sector stakeholders, will enable us to successfully attain our goals of becoming the #1 most visited city as well as being the most recommended with the highest number of repeat Dubai loyalists,” Almarri said.For all the latest travel news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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