A record total of 8.06 million international overnight tourists arrived in Dubai during the first six months of 2017, reflecting a stellar 10.6 per cent increase over the same period last year, says Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism).
India continued to top the list of traffic generators, for the first time crossing the 1 million mark over a six-month period with 1,051,000 Indians visiting the city between January and June, up 21 per cent over the same period last year. Saudi Arabia and the UK retained their spots as the second and third largest feeder markets respectively, with the former rallying to stabilise in June despite facing economic challenges in 2017, while the latter delivered reliable volumes backed by solid 4 per cent year-on-year growth.
“Almost all of Dubai’s top 20 inbound visitor source markets saw positive or near stable year-on-year performances in H1 2017, with five of the top 10 delivering standout double-digit growth,” Dubai Tourism said.
“The strategic impetus of recent regulatory changes granting citizens from China and Russia free visa-on-arrival access to the UAE was evident in the continued growth peaks being delivered from these markets as they topped the charts with 55 per cent and 97 per cent increases respectively over the first six months of 2016.
“As a result, China delivered 413,000 visitors to end H1 2017 in fifth place, and Russia cemented its return to the top 10 with 233,000 visitors. With the exception of Oman – the GCC’s second highest volume driver – which continued its negative slide through 2017 witnessing a sharp 30 per cent decline, the remainder of the top 10 all saw increased contributions. The USA continued its resurgence to end mid-year up 6 per cent in sixth place, followed by Pakistan up 11 per cent in seventh, Iran up 27 per cent in eighth, and Germany up 6 per cent in ninth spots respectively.”
From a regional perspective, Western Europe contributed 21 per cent of the overnight visitor volumes, maintaining its pole position from earlier in the year, reflective of Dubai Tourism’s strong international destination marketing efforts aimed at driving consideration from a wider spectrum of European market segments. Dubai sustained its appeal among traditional stronghold markets across the GCC that collectively accounted for 19 per cent of traffic during H1 2017, driven by efforts to continually revive the city’s offerings encouraging frequency of regular repeat travel.