Dubai sees 7.5% increase in tourists in first 9 months of 2017

Dubai sees 7.5% increase in tourists in first 9 months of 2017”

A total of 11.58 million worldwide overnight visitors arrived in Dubai during the first nine months of 2017, reflecting a 7.5 per cent increase over the same period a year ago, underlining the strength of the emirates tourism industry as well as the growing appeal of Dubai as a global tourism destination of choice, according to the latest data released by Dubais Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism).

Dubai is successfully marching towards its goal of achieving 20 million tourists by the year 2020, as latest data showed a 7.5 per cent growth in tourist arrivals in the first nine months of 2017. According to Dubai Tourism's figures, India retained its top ranking with visitor numbers reaching 1.478 million, an increase of 20 per cent. This represented a slight decrease and a 2 per cent increase in visitor numbers from each country past year.

To encourage more Indian tourists to visit the emirate, the UAE has extended visas-on-arrival to Indian nationals with a valid American visa or Green Card.

Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom also retained their positions as Dubais second and third largest feeder markets, respectively.

Visitor numbers from China were up 49 per cent increase year-on-year to 537,000, making it the UAE's fifth largest source market, and those from Russian Federation were up 95 per cent.

In the remaining top 10, only Oman and Kuwait witnessed declines - 23 per cent and 3 per cent respectively - with sixth ranking market the United States up 6 per cent, seventh ranking Pakistan up 4 per cent, eighth ranking Iran up 16 per cent and ninth ranking Germany up 6 per cent. United Kingdom tourist arrivals climbed by 2 per cent to 905,000. Therefore, this necessitates the development of more value-added offerings. The more the destination creates attractions and tailors its products to cater to diverse tourists, the better conversion it can expect. "There is need to build on experiential travel", he said.

India retained top spot on Dubais list of source markets for inbound tourism, with 1,478,000 Indian tourists arriving in the city between January and September this year, registering a significant 20 per cent rise over the same period in 2016.

"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", said Helal Saeed Almarri, director general, Dubai Tourism.

At the end of September 2017, the number of hotel rooms in Dubai stood at 106,167 spread across 678 establishments, an aggregated 6 per cent increase as compared to September-end 2016.

Luxury hotels made up 33 per cent of the total, four-star hotels 23 per cent, one-to-three star hotels 21 per cent and hotel apartments 23 per cent.

Average hotel occupancy reached 76 per cent at the end of September, unchanged from a year earlier period.

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