India retains position as Dubai’s top source market with 3% growth in H1 2018. 

Dubai welcomed a record 8.10 million international overnight tourists during the first six months of 2018, representing a consistent increase on the same period last year. Figures released by Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) have confirmed the continued success of the emirate’s tourism sector, which at the end of 2017 was worth AED109 billion a year.  A destination of choice for a number of global markets, Dubai is on track for projected growth into the second half of 2018.

Top source markets continued to witness stable year-on-year performances in the first half of 2018, with India, KSA and the UK retaining their top three positions when compared to the same period last year. India again brought in the highest number of international guests, once again crossing the 1-million-mark over a six-month period, up by three per cent year-on-year.

His Excellency Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General, Dubai Tourism, commented: “The first six months of 2018 have both generated and sustained a steady performance, supporting strong growth across our global feeder markets. Attracting 8.10 million visitors during the first half of 2018 stands us in good stead as we accelerate momentum towards our visionary aspiration of becoming the most visited city in the world. The varied offering of Dubai’s tourism proposition has steadily evolved, prudently yet actively responding to market demand, and increasing the emirate’s attractiveness among target visitor segments across our key markets. As such, we have strategically deployed partnerships to ensure we continue to stay relevant and front of mind to both first-time and repeat visitors, while simultaneously creating a steady stream of Dubai ambassadors. Organically expanding the outreach and impact of this authentic advocacy for the city, our integrated networks across digital, social and mobile-led platforms reflect the future-centric mandate of the 10X initiative introduced in 2017 by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai to embrace innovation and ensure Dubai stays 10 years ahead of any global city.”

“The resounding support we receive from our government, public and private sector both in Dubai and across the globe, is testament to the confidence that we collectively share in the inherent strength, appeal and long-term sustainability of Dubai’s tourism proposition and our ability to deliver exponentially superior traveller experiences to the widest range of audiences. This collaboration is fundamental to our success, and together we remain dedicated to continuing to drive record numbers of visitors to Dubai, consequently increasing the tourism sector’s impact on the emirate’s economy. Looking ahead to the second half of 2018, and additional areas of growth for the tourism sector, the recent move to implement a value added tax (VAT) refund mechanism for tourists will also ensure the industry’s competitiveness globally and drive further growth in its GDP contribution to Dubai,” concluded Almarri.

Hotel supply

Spread across a total of 700 establishments, Dubai’s hotel room inventory stood at 111,317 at the end of June 2018, up seven per cent compared to the same time last year.  With an increase in demand for mid-market hotels operating in Dubai, the number of four star properties has increased from 114 to 138 representing 25 per cent of the rooms inventory. Occupied room nights were also up year on year with a total of 14.97 million compared to 14.53 million during the same period in 2017, outlining the ongoing diversity and popularity of Dubai’s hospitality sector.

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