Over 5.5 million tourists visited Dubai in the first half of 2013, representing an 11.1% year-on-year increase, indicating that the emirate is on the way to achieving its Tourism Vision for 2020 of doubling its annual visitor numbers from 10 million in 2012 to 20 million in 2020. The first half visitor number results, released by Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) indicate increases across all key indicators, including hotel establishment guests, hotel and hotel apartment revenues, room occupancy and average length of stay.
“The figures for the first half of 2013 are extremely encouraging and indicate that we are on the way to achieving our Tourism Vision for 2020. Our strategy is to position Dubai as a foremost destination for both leisure and business travellers by continuously evolving our broad and diverse tourism offering and attracting visitors from a range of source markets, including targeting a new generation of first-time travellers from emerging markets. The increase in visitors from each of our key source markets is particularly encouraging, with a number of these markets showing particularly strong growth, including the GCC countries, China, India, Australia and many countries in Europe,” remarks Helal Saeed Almarri, director general of DTCM.
Events such as the Dubai Shopping Festival, Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, Dubai World Cup and Summer is Dubai, including Dubai Summer Surprises, have all contributed towards the growth in visitor numbers. Additionally, Dubai’s status as the region’s leading meetings incentives conferences and events (MICE) hub has also played a central role in boosting first half visitor numbers. Major business events held during the first six months of 2013 include Arab Health, Gulfood, GITEX Shopper, Arabian Travel Market and Intersec.