Dubai is one step closer to its target of becoming the most visited city in the world with 15.92 million international overnight visitors in 2018.
“Exposing our industry to new potential in order to convert a higher share of the dynamically evolving global outbound travel market has helped steady Dubai’s base tourism volumes throughout last year,” Almarri said.
“Our strategic investments, innovative destination promotion programmes, responsive federal policy reforms, and long-term global partnerships – all backed by the tremendous support of our stakeholders across the government and private sector – continue to yield strong results as we ramp up efforts to increase Dubai’s accessibility, visibility and overall appeal, minimise barriers to travel, deliver new standards in global travel experiences, and ultimately drive both first-time and repeat visitation,” he added.
India was the number one source market, with over 2 million visitors, fuelled by business partnerships with key industry leaders and national publications like TOI across India, and tailored destination-focused campaigns, such as multi-award-winning #BeMyGuest, a collaboration with Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, as well as highly targeted seasonal activations to resonate with a diverse range of Indian audiences.
Saudi Arabia was the second highest with 1.6m visitors, helped by customised activations including specialised city-wide activities and promotions for KSA National Day celebrations.
The UK was again the top European market, with 1.2m visitors despite Brexit conversations impacting overall outbound travel and consumption sentiment from the country.
China, Russia and Germany all saw double-digit increases, with China rising 12 per cent in year-on-year growth to bring in 857,000, Russia increasing 28% (678,000) and Germany up 12% (506,000)