Dubai Tourism – the city’s department of tourism and commerce marketing – has revealed that Dubai attracted just shy of 15 million overnight visitors in 2016. Whoa!
This is a very healthy increase, 5% more than in 2015. It also represents a 4-year compound annual growth rate of 8 per cent; twice the growth predicted by the United Nations World Travel Organisation. All the signs point to Dubai Tourism maintaining steady growth and achieving its goals for 2020.
Dubai has achieved all this despite the turbulence all around the world. Although consumers have been cautious globally, Dubai’s tourism sector has been ever resilient. It has adapted and responded to the challenges facing the city, diversified its investments and minimized single-market exposure, and worked hard to promote its appeal and competitiveness. At 14.9 million overnight visitors, Dubai has secured its ranking as the fourth most visited city in the world.
So, who’s visiting? Numbers of overnight visitors from China (which rose 20%) and Russia (which rose 14%) look like they will continue to rise throughout 2017 thanks to the UAE’s new strategy of providing visas-on-arrival for their citizens. More than 3 million of Dubai’s tourists came from Western Europe – a good fifth of the total number of tourists visiting Dubai in 2016. The UK brought in 1.25 million visitors. More than 600,000 visitors came from the US, even though an election year is known to affect the numbers of people leaving the country.
Dubai increases its visitors by continuing to evolve its offerings. Through new, exciting sights and sensations, people are encouraged to visit Dubai over and over. With superb airlines, logistics, and an impeccable hotel sector, visitors want to experience luxury Dubai-style time and time again.
New luxury properties, such as Palazzo Versace Dubai, demonstrate how Dubai aims to provide the best accommodation for families. Theme parks include IMG Worlds of Adventure, the largest indoor theme park, and Dubai Parks and Resorts, the largest integrated theme park resort in the region.
We’re seeing more and more entertainment venues and places of cultural and historic interest, such as Dubai Opera, Etihad Museum, and the Dubai Historic District.
Dubai’s tremendous success as a top tourist destination is down to its various sectors working together to make it one of the greatest places on earth. This success shows no sign of slowing.