Surge in tourism as seven million visit Dubai so far this year

Surge in tourism as seven million visit Dubai so far this year

Dubai attracted 7.12 million international overnight visitors between January and June 2022, according to latest figures from Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism (DET).

The data showed a 183% year-on-year growth in visitor numbers, compared with the 2.52 million visitors who travelled to the emirate in 2021.

In a statement the DET said: “This positive trend in H1 2022 places the city firmly on track to achieve its tourism goals for 2022 and beyond, and further reinforces its position as an international destination of choice.”

And the emirate’s crown prince and chairman of the Executive Council of Dubai, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, said: “The rapid rise in international tourist arrivals puts Dubai on track to achieve its ambitious target of becoming the world’s most visited destination. In the years ahead, Dubai will continue to develop itself further as a destination that offers compelling value to international travellers.”

The growth in tourist numbers also reflected the resilience and dynamism of the emirate’s economy, he said.

This number of visitors to Dubai is moving towards pre-pandemic levels, the DET stats showed. During the same period in 2019 Dubai welcomed 8.36 million tourists, and reflecting the emirate’s rebound from the pandemic despite the challenges of Covid-19 and the slowdown in the world’s economy.

Accordingly, Dubai’s hotels experienced high occupancy levels, with the average occupancy for the sector over the six months a record 74%. This was one of the highest hotel occupancy rates in the world for the corresponding period.

“Dubai hotel establishments delivered a combined 18.47 million occupied room nights during the first six months of the year, a 30.4% year-on-year growth, and an 18% increase over the pre-pandemic period of H1 2019, which yielded 15.71 million occupied room nights,” DET said.

It added that the hotel sector outperformed pre-pandemic levels across all other key measurements – occupied room nights, average daily rate and revenue per available room.


Number-one for city breaks

Dubai is the most desirable city break destination of the world, according to a survey by the Premier Inn hotel chain.

Travellers from more than 21 countries searched for Dubai to “luxuriate in the glamour of Dubai’s lifestyle”, according to its report.

“Holidaymakers are wanting to travel to the United Arab Emirates the most. Twenty-one out of the 136 countries we analysed showed Dubai as their top-searched-for city break destination,” the report said.

Premier Inn’s study was based on keyword data from Google, analysing a total of 136 cities. The emirate has also beat popular cities such as Paris, Boston and Madrid, the study revealed.

Dubai was particularly popular among potential visitors from, among others, Saudi Arabia, Kenya, Uganda, Sierrra Leone, the Gambia, Liberia, Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon, Benin, India, Pakistan, Maldives, Azerbaijan, Seychelles, Mauritius, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, Eritrea and South Africa.

The success is a boost to Dubai’s ambition of becoming the world’s most popular travel destination by 2025, as outlined in the Dubai Tourism Strategy.

It aims to attract over 25 million visitors a year, placing the tourism industry as a key contributor to the emirate’s economy.

And in another survey, Dubai has emerged as the most popular destination in the world for users of TikTok, beating New York city, the number-one destination in the survey in 2021.

Dubai ranked number one in the study, called the ‘TikTok Travel Index 2022’, which covered 140 cities. It was conducted by luggage storage company Bounce.

Posts featuring the hashtag “#Dubai” had 81.8 billion views on the social app, beating New York city with 59.5 billion views and London with 36.8 billion views.

“Synonymous with wealth and luxury, Dubai has become one of the most sought-after destinations for holidaymakers who want to soak up the sun in style. This ultra-modern city is home to some of the world’s most astounding architecture, such as the tallest building on Earth, the Burj Khalifa,” according to a statement from Bounce.