President Xi Jinping signed a raft of trade deals with the UAE during his recent visit to the Gulf country. But recent figures show that another sector is booming: the number of Chinese tourists to Dubai have more than doubled in the past four years.
Dubai Tourism reported growth of 119 percent in overnight Chinese visitors since 2014 and a year-on-year increase of 41.4 percent from 2016 to 2017.
Now one of Dubai’s fastest growing source markets – currently the fourth biggest - China closed the first five months of 2018 with a record 400,547 visitors and this growth is predicted to continue in 2018, Dubai Tourism added.
Speaking ahead of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to the UAE, Helal Saeed Almarri, director-general of Dubai Tourism, said: "Our approach to engaging Chinese tourists is two-fold, with landmark partnerships, investments and marketing activities undertaken in 48 cities across China, partnered with a city-level China-readiness strategy in Dubai to enhance the experience of Chinese tourists.
In this edition of Inside AB, Shayan Shakeel and Bernd Debusmann look at the factors driving this growth, including the introduction of visa-on-arrival for Chinese nationals in 2016, working in conjunction with the increase in air capacity by national carriers from China – currently standing at 30 flights a week, a 13 percent increase in non-stop seat capacity in 2017- has also contributed to rapid growth."
(Source: Arabianbusiness.com YouTube channel)