The attraction of Dubai as a dream tourism destination continues to rise with nearly 5 million visitors in the first three months of the year. India remains the largest source of tourists to this dreamland.
The data released by Dubai’s Department of Tourism, Commerce and Marketing (Dubai Tourism) revealed that the city recorded 4.75 million international overnight visitors from January to March this year, which is up by 2 per cent from the guest numbers recorded a year earlier.
The city has set an ambitious target to attract 20 million visitors a year by 2020, double the number it welcomed in 2012.
India continues to be the biggest source of arrivals for Dubai as more than a half million (564,836) people arrived here during the first quarter of the present year.
The second place was accorded to Saudi Arabia as 411,586 people visited Dubai during the same period, followed by the United Kingdom, with 326,586.
However, the real surprise was China which registered a significant jump of 13 per cent in the number of tourists’ arrivals on a year-on-year basis. The volume of arrivals from China peaked around the Chinese New Year holiday in February.
Meanwhile, Oman emerged as the fifth-biggest source of tourist traffic for Dubai, registering 263,182 guests, while Russia followed closely with 203,651 visitor arrivals and Germany with 203,651.
Helal Saeed Almarri, director-general of Dubai Tourism, said, “Tourism as a sector continues to be one of the most interconnected, and consequently highly diversified pillars of Dubai’s GDP, making our economic contribution imperative for collective growth.”
“Our first quarter is an encouraging reflection of the success of our various ongoing initiatives and the efforts of all our industry partners — not just in our attraction of visitation through successful implementation of Dubai Tourism’s planned calendar of regional and global campaigns, but also through customised itinerary programming and most importantly, in-city ‘guest promise’ delivery,” he added.