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Sat 17 Aug 2019 07:23 PM

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Dubai attracts 8.36m tourists in first half of 2019, up 3%

India is Dubai's largest source market with 997,000 visitors despite severe air traffic and seat capacity challenges during H1

Dubai attracts 8.36m tourists in first half of 2019, up 3%

Dubai welcomed 8.36 million international overnight visitors in the first six months of 2019, up 3 percent compared to the same period last year, according to official figures.

According to Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism), India was the largest source market with 997,000 visitors despite severe air traffic and seat capacity challenges due to geopolitical volatilities.

The second largest feeder market was Saudi Arabia which delivered 755,000 visitors, followed by the UK which delivered 586,000 travellers despite a devalued British Pound and concerns surrounding Brexit.

China (501,000), which reported 11 percent year-on-year growth, and Oman (499,000) rounded out the top five supply markets while Russia (375,000), the United States (329,000), Germany (316,000), and Pakistan (253,000) and Philippines (216,000) made up the top 10.

Helal Saeed Almarri, director general, Dubai Tourism, said: "Tourism is one of the cornerstones of Dubai’s diversified economic growth, and we measure success based on our ability to aggressively advance towards our goal to be the number one most visited and most preferred city.

"Our first half results are a particularly encouraging reflection of our progress towards this ambition... Designed to counter unforeseen macro-economic variables faced by the global travel ecosystem and mitigate impediments associated with over-reliance on any one market or region, we have been long-standing proponents of a globally diversified market strategy – which continues to support our resilience as a sector."

In the first six months of 2019, the city continued to focus on providing new entertainment offerings and attractions, including the opening of the Coca-Cola Arena and Quranic Park.

Average occupancy for Dubai's hotel sector stood at 76 percent with a combined 15.71 million occupied room nights during the first six months of the year, a 5 percent increase over the same period in 2018.

Spread across a total of 714 establishments, Dubai’s hotel room inventory stood at 118,345 as at the end of June, up 6 percent.

Luxury five-star and four-star hotels commanded 34 and 25 percent of the emirate’s total inventory, respectively while properties in the one to three-star categories represented a share of 20 percent.

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