Dubai welcomed 16.73 million overnight visitors in 2019, a rise of 5.1 percent compared to 2018, with double-digit growth in arrivals from key source markets, according to a new report by from Dubai Tourism authorities.
The “Annual visitor report 2019” released on Wednesday said Dubai was 2019’s fourth most visited destination according to MasterCard’s Global Cities Index and that the 16.73 million overnight visitors came from over 233 countries around the globe.
“At the end of 2019, tourism was responsible for contributing an impressive 11.5 percent in GDP value, Dubai’s tourism sector was ranked one of ‘Top 10’ strongest economic share generators, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council’s Cities Report 2019 - a statistic of particularly enhanced significance as we stand amidst a wholly altered context six months into 2020, where the COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked undeniable havoc on the global economy,” the report read.
Watch: In #Dubai’s Atlantis resort, located at the tip of the emirate’s iconic Palm Jumeirah Island, workers wearing face masks clean cushions, sofas, and king-size beds in luxury suites that have largely been vacant since the #coronavirus pandemic.https://t.co/i1ZGxvbPc7 pic.twitter.com/su8qFpiAIf— Al Arabiya English (@AlArabiya_Eng) July 8, 2020
The report acknowledged that the travel and tourism sector in Dubai took a hit in the first half of 2020, given the circumstances surrounding the global COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
Dubai has begun accepting and welcoming visitors as of July 7, with officials saying they expect an “aggressive” bounce back in tourism by the year-end after the Mideast travel hub allowed holiday-makers to resume flying into the emirate.
Last year, China further consolidated its reputation as one of Dubai’s most important growth markets, with visitor arrivals totaling 989,000 – more than double the number recorded four years ago and prior to the introduction of visas on arrival for visitors from China.
In comparison, Western Europe retained the top rank accounting for 20 percent of all visitors in 2019, with 3.4 million tourists, according to the report.