DUBAI / WAM
Dubai welcomed 8.36 million international overnight visitors in the first six months (January-June) of 2019, posting a positive three percent in tourism volume growth compared to the same period last year, according to the latest data released by Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, Dubai Tourism.
The new figure reinforces the continued strength of Dubai’s tourism sector as a key driver of economic diversification and a reliable catalyst for GDP acceleration through 2020. The largest traffic generators as well as newer high-potential segments have set a strong preparatory pace to fuel Dubai’s climb to becoming the most visited global destination.
Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General, Dubai Tourism, commented: “Tourism is one of the cornerstones of Dubai’s diversified economic growth, and we measure success based on our ability to aggressively advance towards our goal to be the number one most visited and most preferred city as envisioned by HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. The consequent rise in value creation opportunities, and more inclusive sector participation are core priorities, as we equally strive to sustainably grow GDP contribution.”
India once again led the pack, drawing the highest half year volumes with 997,000 visitors.
Coming in strong as Dubai’s second largest feeder market once again, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) delivered 755,000 visitors at two percent year-on-year growth over six months with a notable 4.9 percent increase over the Eid break alone.
With over 501,000 Chinese visitors to Dubai from January to June 2019, the stellar 11 percent year-on-year (Y-o-Y) growth from the world’s most aggressively sought-after consumers is testament to Dubai Tourism’s successful strategies to maintain high conversion appeal for China’s outbound market.
Very close on China’s heels, the second GCC stronghold — Oman — catapulted into the top five with a massive 28 percent growth to land 499,000 visitors to Dubai, as Dubai Tourism’s seasonal campaigns, tactical programmes and city activations reaped tangible dividends.
Following an exceptional resurgence in Dubai travel for 2018, thanks to the visa-on-arrival enablement, growth from Russia levelled to more sustainable levels, as H1 2019’s sixth largest source market delivered 375,000 visitors to Dubai.
The US followed in seventh spot with 329,000 visitors, marginally up from 327,000 visitors in H1 2018, supported by concerted marketing efforts and trade collaborations with five new trade partnerships developed in the first half of 2019,
to raise awareness of the destination and promote holiday packages and deals.
Germany’s five percent growth to deliver 316,000 visitors, and Pakistan’s three percent growth to yield 253,000 visitors, brought them in at eighth and ninth positions respectively, as Philippines jumped three ranks into the top 10 finishing a strong first half with 216,000 travellers, reflecting a 29 percent increase that made it the fastest growing source market for Dubai this year.
Dubai’s hotel sector continues to be integral to the emirate’s destination promise and to the overall growth of the tourism industry.