Dubai’s tourism volumes surge to over 12 million

DUBAI: surge in arrivals over the summer months accelerated Dubai’s tourism momentum, as the city welcomed 12.08 million international overnight visitors in the first nine months of 2019, according to the latest visitation figures released by Dubai’s Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism).

The strong 4.3 per cent increase in volume growth compared to the same period last year was supported by highly participatory contributions from both traditional and emerging markets, that has continued to capture strong shares of the tourist wallet, further stimulating Dubai’s GDP impact, and the city’s remarkable consistency in transforming itself to respond to global competition.

The positive performance, which drew over 1.23 million visitors to the city in September, an above market average increase of 7.3 per cent over the same month in 2018, coincided with Dubai being ranked the fourth most visited city in the world for the fifth year in a row in Mastercard’s Global Destination Cities Index 2019, a clear indication that Dubai is continuously renewing its attractiveness to remain a leading global destination.

India retained its position as Dubai’s leading source market, with over 1.39 million visitors during the first nine months of 2019. This reaped dividends as evidenced in the increase in travel share of Indian families with children by a substantial 13 percentage points from 32 to 45 per cent during the nine month period in 2019 over the same period last year.

As the highest traffic volume generator for the GCC, Saudi Arabia registered a two per cent year-on-year growth for over 1.25 million visitors, largely driven by the Saudi National Day holiday on September 23, which saw Saudi arrivals registering a massive 36+ per cent growth compared to the same holiday period in 2018.

Despite the devaluation of the pound against the dollar, and continued Brexit uncertainty, UK remained Dubai’s third largest source market with 851,000 visitors. The emirate retained high demand from families with children, one of the focus segments of the tourism strategy in the UK, accounting for 25 per cent of the share during the first nine months of 2019, up by five percentage points compared to the same period in 2018.

Oman stayed the course as one of the key drivers within the top performing markets, delivering 778,000 visitors for a 28 per cent increase year-on-year, making it the fourth highest traffic generator.