According to data released by Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism), the emirate saw some 8.36 million international overnight visitors in the first half of 2019, representing a three percent year-on-year increase.
India was the largest source market with the highest half-year numbers at 997,000 visitors, despite severe air traffic and seat capacity challenges due to geopolitical volatilities.
Saudi Arabia was the second-largest feeder market at 755,000 visitors, a two percent year-on-year growth. The UK rounded out the top three, with 586,000 travelers visiting Dubai – in spite of a significantly devalued pound amid Brexit-related political and economic turbulence.
“Tourism is one of the cornerstones of Dubai’s diversified economic growth, and we measure success based on our ability to aggressively advance towards our goal to be the number one most visited and most preferred city,” said Director General of Dubai Tourism, Helal Saeed Almarri.
The top 10 visiting nations were as follows:
1. India – 997,000
2. Saudi Arabia – 755,000
3. UK – 586,000
4. China – 501,000
5. Oman – 499,000
6. Russia – 375,000
7. US – 329,000
8. Germany – 316,000
9. Pakistan – 253,000
10. Philippines – 216,000
“Designed to counter unforeseen macro-economic variables faced by the global travel ecosystem and mitigate impediments associated with over-reliance on any one market or region, we have been long-standing proponents of a globally diversified market strategy – which continues to support our resilience as a sector,” added Almarri.
The emirate’s hotel sector saw an occupancy rate of 76 percent, with establishments delivering a 15.71 million occupied room nights over H1 2019, a five percent increase year-on-year.
Dubai’s hotel room inventory stood at 118,345 as of H1 2019, a six percent increase, and is spread across 714 establishments. Luxury five-star and four-star hotels represent 34 and 25 percent of the emirate’s total inventory, respectively.