Dubai has seen a 5% rise in overnight visitors to 4.1 million in the first quarter of 2016, mainly contributed by a strong double digit growth from its neighboring countries the GCC and India, according to official figures released by the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) recently.
The GCC continued to lead in the region delivering 25 percent of all overnight visitation to Dubai in Q1 2016, while visitors from Saudi Arabia grew 14 percent to 476,000.Thus making GCC the number one source country, followed by Oman which increased by 32 percent with 322,000 visitors in the same period.
Kuwait contributed 119,000 visitors, ranking the top 10 in the region, while Qatar registered 26 percent increase in visitor volumes.
Visitors from the subcontinent, India and Pakistan, are also the key driver of tourism volumes with India growing at 17 percent delivering 467,000 overnight visitors, followed by Pakistan within the same region which rose by 18 percent over the same period.
Western European visitors were the second largest source region with a 23 percent visitor share in Q1 2016, despite challenging global market conditions and a strong US dollar. This was led by United Kingdom which saw a 10 percent year-on-year quarter growth with 334,000 visitors, hence remained as Dubai’s third largest country contributor.
Dubai Tourism’s director general, Helal Saeed Almarri was quoted as saying that the global travel in the first three months of this year has been impacted by geo-political, social and economic uncertainties, with most markets experiencing flat to negative growth. He commented that Dubai’s highly agile, fragmented source market approach, the strength of its government, public and private sector partnerships, as well as the effective promotional and marketing outreach, as having been fundamental to fuelling the overall growth.
Almarri added, “Markets within the four hour flight path, specifically the GCC and India, remain a critical focus for our on-going visitation attraction efforts as build towards our growth targets.”
Accommodations across all hotels and hotel apartment categories in Dubai also saw growth in the same period with 676 establishments in full operation, representing 98,949 rooms.
Almarri further said, “Tourism-related infrastructure and capacity enhancement investment is expected to accelerate during 2016 through more segment-specific offerings such as culture and heritage attractions and family-oriented theme parks, in addition to continued focus on enhancing the business environment that underscores Dubai’s pursuit of becoming the number one destination for travel, business and events.”
Dubai is said to be steadily implementing projects to develop, enhance and promote the core pillars of its destination offerings that not only attract more volumes but also further the sector’s growing contribution to the emirate’s GDP, and remain as a source of sustainable competitiveness for future growth.