Dubai welcomes 11.58 million visitors in first 3 quarters of 2018

HE Helal Saeed Almarri JPGDubai remains on track to becoming the most visited city for global travel, business and events, according to the latest visitation figures released by Dubai’s Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism). The emirate welcomed 11.58 million visitors in the first three quarters of 2018, with India retaining its position as Dubai’s leading source market, followed by Saudi Arabia and the UK continuing to hold second and third positions respectively, underlining the city’s sustained appeal to its traditional strongholds and a wider diversified global audience. Russia, China and Germany continued to be key drivers within the top performing markets, each recording double-digit growth compared to the same period in 2017. Tourism from Russia remained on high trajectory, growing by a massive 60 per cent year-on-year, with visitor numbers surging to 460,000 in just the first nine months of 2018. The increase in Russian overnight guests was supported by a strong 19 per cent growth in air capacity across non-stop flights, in addition to added ease of travel access following the introduction of visa-on-arrival facilities in the last two years. China also continued to highlight benefits from the visa-on-arrival scheme, complementing the ongoing ‘China Readiness’ strategy, consequently re-enforcing its upward curve resulting in China securing its position as the fourth largest feeder market with an impressive 641,000 visitors so far this year, marking a 12 per cent increase versus 573,000 for the same period last year. Germany grew even faster at 15 per cent to reach 388,000 visitors during the first nine months, landing in eighth place within the top 10 source markets for Dubai.
From a regional perspective, the first nine months saw 20 per cent of overnight visitors arrive from Western Europe despite a strong USD, reinforcing Dubai’s growing appeal to target segments within these markets and maintaining its leading regional position from 2017. Close behind in second place was the GCC region, which made up 19 per cent of the emirate’s overnight visitors during the first nine months. These were closely followed by South Asia with a share of 17 per cent, South East Asia and the MENA and North regions with 11 per cent and 10 per cent respectively, Russia, CIS and Eastern Europe accounted for 7 per cent, whilst the Americas showed a slight increase to 7 per cent. Africa also witnessed a slight growth to 6 per cent and Australasia maintained 2 per cent.
His Excellency Helal Almarri, Director General, Dubai Tourism commented, “The first three quarters of 2018 have seen consistent interest from conventional feeder regions, complemented by some noteworthy spikes in high volume drivers and strong growth in more emerging markets as Dubai continues to actively target a diversified global base of travellers. With 11.58 million tourists to date this year, we have maintained our position as the fourth most visited city in the world according to the 2018 MasterCard Global Cities Index, and will continue to work towards delivering stability throughout Q4 despite wider macro-economic challenges.