Mastercard has released a new report confirming that Dubai is one of the most visited cities in the world, while Abu Dhabi is the number one fastest-growing destination for visitors.

Dubai held its position as the world’s fourth most visited city for the fifth year in a row, with the last 12 months seeing as many as 15.93 million international visitors landing in the city and staying at least overnight, while Abu Dhabi has increased the number of international visitors arriving in the capital by over 16% every year since 2009, and is now the fastest-growing international destination out of all of the 200 cities that were analysed in the report.

Mastercard’s general manager in the United Arab Emirates and Oman Girish Nanda says that for international visitors, Dubai is the most attractive destination that the Middle East and Africa region has because it is able to connect people from many different countries with a wide array of offerings that appeal to business travellers and holidaymakers alike.

Almost 16 million overnight visitors were hosted by Dubai last year, and this figure is only expected to increase further by an additional 2% by the end of this year, with a spike anticipated to occur via a surge of new visitors who will be heading to the Expo 2020 in October of next year.

Expo 2020’s chief commercial officer Sanjive Khosala says that the already impressive number of visitors will only go up again next year, with 192 different countries being welcomed for Dubai’s unprecedented Expo 2020 celebration.

Khosala adds that with millions of visitors expected to come to Dubai from outside of the UAE, the company is expecting that the very first World Expo to be held in the region will benefit the tourism industry in Dubai in both the short term and long term while also continuing to enhance its already impressive reputation as one of the world’s most diverse and dynamic meeting points.

Dubai also experiences the highest total spend as well as average daily spend from visitors, with a grand total of Dhs113.2bn ($30.82bn) being spent.

The figure is considerably ahead of those seen in the likes of cities in Asia, Europe and elsewhere in the Middle East, while the daily average spending figure of Dhs2,031 ($553) is as much as Dhs943 ($257) more than in Paris, which is the following city on the same list.

Anyone who is intending to travel to Dubai, whether for next year’s Expo 2020 celebration or for other reasons ahead of that date, will need to take out travel insurance before they set off on their journey.

Travel insurance is an important safety net for local and international travellers alike, being able to provide cover for the financial cost that can sometimes be associated with unfortunate circumstances occurring away from home, such as the theft of personal items, or falling sick or being injured in an unfamiliar environment.


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