Dubai’s tourism numbers grew by more than 5% to 16.73 million in 2019, a statement from the Dubai Media Office has revealed.
Tourism is now responsible for as much as 11.5% of the GDP of the emirate, with Dubai now the third best city in the world for the capture of direct international tourism spending, according to the 2019 Cities Report from the World Travel & Tourism Council.
The 2010s, and particularly 2019, have seen unparalleled acceleration in the stature of Dubai as a destination of choice for international tourists, says Dubai Tourism’s director general Helal Saeed Almarri.
Although the worldwide economy remains in flux, there is an obvious opportunity to continue to grow the dominance of the emirate in the tourism industry this year, Almarri believes.
Although Dubai failed to hit its target of attracting 20 million tourists by this year, there has been a strong increase in the number of recent visitors from China, Oman and the Philippines.
The fastest-growing source market for Dubai is actually Nigeria, with a 33% spike year on year bringing 246,000 tourists from the nation to Dubai in 2019.
A massive influx of tourists to Dubai is also expected later this year with the commencement of Expo 2020.
The top tourist source market for Dubai last year was still India, with just less than two million visitors.
The second biggest market is also still Saudi Arabia with 1.6 million tourists, and the third largest was the UK with 1.2 million.
The fourth largest market was Oman, which experienced an increase in visitors of as much as 24.3% last year, an increase attributed by the Dubai Media Office statement to the running of a variety of seasonal campaigns.
There was a 47% growth year-on-year of visits taking place during the period of Eid Al Adha, and a rise of 25% during the Oman National Day period.
The number of Chinese visitors also increased in 2019 by 15% to as many as 989,000, and the number of Russian visitors increased to 728,000, a rise of 7.4%, making them the fifth and sixth biggest markets respectively.
The top 10 was rounded out by tourists from the US, Germany, Pakistan and the Philippines, the latter experiencing an increase of as much as 23.2%.
The top 20 shows a number of other strong markets such as France, Italy, Egypt and nations within the CIS region.
Visitor numbers from Kazakhstan rose to 147,000 overnight visitors, an increase of 23%, following the easing of visitor visa restrictions that took place in 2018.
A number of measures have been introduced by the United Arab Emirates to make it easier to visit the country.
At the first cabinet meeting of 2019 earlier in the month, a five-year multi-entry tourism visa for all nationalities of visitors was announced by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid.
Anyone intending to visit the UAE from overseas should take out travel insurance coverage to ensure that they are not financially impacted in the event of unexpected occurrences such as losing luggage or falling ill while in a foreign country.