Dubai is on course to post a record year for tourism according to data released by the emirate’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism).
A total of 11.58 million international overnight visitors arrived in Dubai during the first nine months of 2017, reflecting a 7.5 per cent increase over the same period last year, underlining the strength of the emirate’s tourism industry as well as the growing appeal of Dubai as a global tourism destination of choice.
His Excellency Helal Saeed Almarri, director general, Dubai Tourism, said: “The sustained growth ahead of the global average that we have witnessed so far this year is indicative of the positive impact yielded by our consolidated strategy across regulatory measures, promotional efforts, trade initiatives and partner programmes.
“Even as we continually work to ensure Dubai’s proposition remains stellar and globally competitive, drawing on the concerted cross-industry efforts of all stakeholders, our priority remains the delivery of the highest levels of visitor satisfaction.”
India retained top spot on Dubai’s list of source markets for inbound tourism, with 1,478,000 Indian tourists arriving in the city between January and September, registering a significant 20 per cent rise over the same period in 2016.
Meanwhile, China stayed in fifth place with an impressively large 49 per cent year-on-year growth, delivering 573,000 visitors in the first nine months of the year and continuing to benefit from regulatory changes introduced in late 2016 granting Chinese citizens free visa-on-arrival access to the UAE.”
Dubai’s hotel sector, meanwhile, also saw significant growth, with the city’s total number of hotel and hotel apartment keys standing at 106,167 at the end of the third quarter of 2017, spread across 678 establishments, representing an aggregated 6% increase in capacity over a 12-month period versus end of September 2016.
Luxury five-star hotels, Dubai’s strongest proposition globally, made up 33% of the emirate’s total inventory, with four-star hotels commanding a 23 per cent share and properties in the one- to three-star categories a share of 21 %, reflecting the benefits of a sustained approach to balancing the mix and driving consideration from diverse segments including families.
Hotel apartment establishments made up 23% of total inventory, split into deluxe/superior and standard categories, with 9 and 14% shares respectively.
Average occupancy for the hotel sector as whole stood at 76%, remaining unchanged from the end of Q3 2016, underscoring the industry’s foundational stability and enduring attractiveness despite rising supply. Occupied room nights were up year on year, totalling 21.27 million compared to 20.45 million at the end of September 2016, while guests’ average length of stay decreased very slightly from 3.6 to 3.5 nights, in part due to an increase in stopover travellers.