According to new data released by the Turkish Consulate General Cultural and Information Office in Dubai, 1,226,665 Middle East travellers landed in Turkey between January and June 2017, which means that tourist traffic to Turkey from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries continues to show strength, rising by 26.29%, or an estimated 360 thousand travellers, in H1 2017 in comparison to the same period in 2016. The number of United Arab Emirates nationals travelling to Turkish destinations increased by 9.86%, while Kuwaiti traveller numbers increased by 41.04% and travellers from Bahrain increased by 31.86%.
The UAE figures are particularly striking. The first six months of 2016 saw a decrease of 20.99% in traveller traffic from the UAE to Turkey, and this year, it recovered to increase by almost 10%, or over 18 thousand travellers. Ramadan played a big part where UAE travel into Turkey increased by 330.33%. Travellers from Saudi Arabia led the way, with over 205,000 holidaymakers visiting Turkey in H1, followed by Kuwait and Bahrain with 94,000 and 23,000 travellers respectively.