Dubai Receives 8.36M Visitors in First Half 2019

Sunday, 18 August, 2019 - 11:15
Dubai- Asharq Al-Awsat

Dubai welcomed 8.36 million international overnight visitors during the first six months of 2019, a 3 percent increase compared to the same period last year, according to the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing.

The new figures reinforce the continued strength of Dubai's tourism sector as a key driver of economic diversification and a reliable catalyst for GDP acceleration through 2020, reported Emirates News Agency (WAM).

Director-General of Dubai Tourism Helal al-Marri said: "Tourism is one of the cornerstones of Dubai's diversified economic growth, and we measure success based on our ability to aggressively advance towards our goal to be the number one most visited and most preferred city.

“The consequent rise in value creation opportunities, and more inclusive sector participation are core priorities, as we equally strive to sustainably grow GDP contribution.”

Marri announced that the first half results are a reflection of the progress towards this ambition and underline the effectiveness of the diversified market outreach through a network of global partners, industry stakeholders, and government enablers.

The Department declared that India held its position with highest visitors, reaching 997,000, despite severe air traffic and seat capacity challenges due to geopolitical volatilities.

Travel share of Indian families with children rose by a substantial 10 percent, from 24 to 34 percent, directly reflecting higher GDP impact due to party size and spending potential.

Dubai’s second-largest feeder market once again was Saudi Arabia, with 755,000 visitors at two percent year-on-year growth over six months and a notable 4.9 percent increase over the Eid break alone.

This signifies the continued stability in Dubai’s attractiveness for Saudi families and millennials.

Staying firmly within Dubai’s top three traffic drivers, the UK delivered 586,000 travelers beating all odds amidst growing political and economic turbulence surrounding Brexit.

Oman came among the top five countries with a massive 28 percent growth to land 499,000 visitors to Dubai.

Russia leveled to more sustainable levels thanks to the visa-on-arrival enablement, to become the country’s sixth-largest source market delivering 375,000 visitors to Dubai.

The United States followed in the seventh spot with 329,000 visitors, marginally up from 327,000 visitors in 2018, “supported by concerted marketing efforts and trade collaborations with five new trade partnerships developed in the first half of 2019, to raise awareness of the destination and promote holiday packages and deals,” according to WAM.

At the eighth and ninth positions respectively came Germany with five percent growth to deliver 316,000 visitors, and Pakistan with three percent growth to yield 253,000 visitors. The Philippines jumped three ranks into the top 10 finishing a strong first half with 216,000 travelers, reflecting a 29 percent increase that made it the fastest-growing source market for Dubai in 2019.

Average occupancy for the hotel sector stood at 76 percent, with establishments delivering a combined 15.71 million occupied room nights during the first six months of 2019, a five percent increase over the same period in 2018.

Spread across a total of 714 establishments, Dubai’s hotel room inventory stood at 118,345 at the end of June 2019, representing a six percent increase, which showcased continued strong investor confidence in Dubai's tourism demand and market appetite.

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