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Dubai set for another record year for visitors

Emirate sees 2 per cent year-on-year increase in UK travellers

Pictured: Dubai

Dubai is on track for another record year in terms of tourist volumes, according to Dubai Tourism.

A total of 11.58 million international overnight visitors arrived in Dubai during the first nine months of 2017, reflecting a 7.5 per cent increase over the same period last year.

The UK retained its position as Dubai’s third largest market, behind India and Saudi Arabia. A total of 905k British travellers arrived in the emirate in the year to September, a 2 per cent year-on-year increase.

Russia topped the growth charts, posting a 95 per cent increase in tourists to Dubai, largely thanks to the February introduction of UAE visa-on-arrival access for Russian citizens.

The performance in the first three quarters of 2017 indicates that the emirate is making sustained progress towards its Tourism Vision 2020 goals of welcoming 20 million visitors per year by 2020 and increasing the tourism sector’s contribution to GDP.

Helal Saeed Almarri, director general of Dubai Tourism, said: “Ultimately, our aim is to make every satisfied Dubai visitor our customer for life and our strongest advocate, in order to drive not only higher repeat traffic but also acquire newer audiences most efficiently, as we strive towards our 20 million target by 2020.

“At the same time, we are focused on continuously innovating, harnessing the power of data, redefining the customer journey and amplifying the voice of the traveller, to ensure that Dubai is a decade ahead of any other global city from a travel and tourism perspective.”

Dubai’s hotel sector also saw significant growth, with the city’s total number of hotel and hotel apartment keys growing 6 per cent to 106,167, spread across 678 establishments.

Five star hotels, Dubai’s strongest proposition globally, made up 33 per cent of the emirate’s total inventory. Average occupancy for the hotel sector as whole remained unchanged at 76 per cent.

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