Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) reported a 12 per cent year-on-year growth over the first two months of 2017, which saw Dubai welcoming just over three million visitors, nearly four times the rate of the previous year. Supported by growth in all key markets, China and Russia in particular drove the volumes and set the stage for a strong first quarter result. This period witnessed a 60 per cent growth in overnight tourists from China with January alone peaking at a dramatic 102 per cent, while attracting a total of 157,000 Chinese visitors across just the first two months. Reflecting an even more significant percentage increase, Russian visitation jumped 84 per cent over the same period last year with February delivering a massive 140 per cent volume increase to bring a total of 65,000 travellers in the first two months. Consequently, both contributing countries moved up in their rankings as key source markets for inbound tourism to Dubai with China entering the top 4 for the first time and Russia moving to just outside the top 10, up 4 places from 15.
His Excellency Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General, Dubai Tourism, said: “As we continue to invest in raising consideration for Dubai as the destination of choice for global travellers, our focus at Dubai Tourism is equally on increasing Dubai’s accessibility and removing barriers to travel by working closely with partners and stakeholders in the public and private sectors on both a federal and emirate level. Ultimately our collective aim is to make it as easy and seamless as possible for any prospective tourist from our diversified base of source markets to visit and revisit Dubai. We are delighted to see visitor numbers make a strong start in 2017. We work closely with the government on initiatives to drive increased visitation, and the decision by the leadership of the UAE to offer visas-on-arrival to our Chinese and Russian guests has already proven an astute one, as we have seen an almost instant positive effect from both countries. Dubai Tourism has invested significant efforts in marketing Dubai as an appealing destination for visitors from China and Russia, and we are encouraged to see such promising results.