…Saudi Arabia was the second top source market for travellers to the emirate
Dubai welcomed 15.92 million visitors in 2018, up 0.8 percent from a year earlier, and India retained its spot as the top source market with more than 2 million travellers, according to official figures.
Saudi Arabia also maintained its place as the second-biggest country of origin for visitors, growing by 3 percent to 1.6 million from 2017, Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing said on Sunday.
“Our strategic investments, innovative destination promotion programmes, responsive federal policy reforms, and long-term global partnerships – all backed by the tremendous support of our stakeholders across the government and private sector, continue to yield strong results,” said Helal Almarri, director-general of Dubai Tourism.
Dubai and the UAE overall have been implementing measures to boost tourism to the country, including granting the Russians and Chinese visas on arrival, moves that have helped boost visitor numbers from the respective countries.
Dubai has been beefing up its roster of events and developing new attractions to woo visitors. The emirate has marketed itself as a family-friendly destination with theme parks including Marvel-inspired IMG World of Adventures and Dubai Parks and Resorts.
The UK also held on to its third spot as a source market, but the number of visitors dipped 5.5 percent to 1.2 million.
China climbed to the fourth spot, with tourist numbers surging 12 percent to 857,000, while Russia rose two places to the sixth position with a 28 percent uptick in the number of travellers to 678,000.
The number of German tourists rose 12 percent to 567,000.
Meanwhile, the number of hotel rooms and apartments rose 8 percent to about 116,000 across 716 establishments, with average occupancy reaching 76 percent
Luxury hotels accounted for a third of total inventory, followed by four-star hotels with a quarter share and one to three-star with a fifth of all rooms.