Dubai visitor numbers soar to 14.9 million
Dubai attracted 14.9 million overnight visitors in 2016, up five per cent on 2015, according to Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM).
The tourism department noted a four-year CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of eight per cent between 2012 and 2016.
These results follow an announcement by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, that the destination is on track to achieve the goal of 20 million visitors by 2020.
The eight per cent growth rate is double the global rate of four per cent during the same period, as forecasted by the United Nations World Travel Organisation (UNWTO).
DTCM director general Helal Almarri said: “2016 was another milestone marker for Dubai’s travel sector, as we rallied strong, and ramped up the momentum to significantly outpace the four-year global industry average by double.
“With our international overnight traffic reaching 14.9 million, Dubai has cemented its ranking as the fourth most visited city in the world, critically delivering the highest value to the domestic economy with our number one ranking in terms of spend per tourist compared to any other competitor destination.”
The GCC remained the number one volume generator for tourism to Dubai, delivering the 3.4 million visitors, up five per cent compared to 2015.
Saudi Arabia led this contribution with more than 1.6 million visitors, a six per cent increase, with Oman next in line accounting for more than one million travellers.
Western Europe was the second strongest region for visitors to Dubai, accounting for 21 per cent of the total with more than 3.1 million tourists, representing annual growth of four per cent. The UK retained its position as Dubai’s number three market, bringing in nearly 1.25 million visitors, while Germany remained stable with 460,000 visitors.