Dubai has retained its position as the fourth most visited city in the world for the fifth year in a row, according to Mastercard’s Global Destination Cities Index (GDCI) 2019. The city welcomed 15.93 million international overnight visitors last year and is expected to continue building on its success in 2019.
The UAE’s capital, Abu Dhabi, was ranked as the fastest growing city in the Middle East and Africa, with a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 16.7% between 2009 and 2018 in overnight arrivals.
“Once again, Dubai has earned and maintained its position as the fourth most visited city in the world in Mastercard’s Global Destinations Cities Index. As the most attractive destination in the Middle East and Africa region for international visitors, Dubai connects people from all over the world with a diverse range of offerings for leisure and business travelers alike,” says Girish Nanda, general manager, UAE & Oman, Mastercard.
“In today’s interconnected world, travel has become an important part of how we work and how we live. It’s vital for us to understand how travel impacts destinations for the better and the challenges it poses, to ensure local leaders have the information and solutions they need to succeed. As the official payment technology partner for Expo 2020, we look forward to delivering priceless experiences to millions of visitors from across the globe as Dubai hosts the largest event ever staged in the region.”
Mastercard Global Destination City Index 2019 – Key Findings
This year, the Global Destination Cities Index—which ranks 200 cities based on proprietary analysis of publicly available visitor volume and spend data— reveals that Bangkok remains the number one destination, with more than 22 million international overnight visitors.
Paris and London, in flipped positions this year, hold the number two and three spots, respectively both hovering over 19 million. All top ten cities saw more international overnight visitors in 2018 than the prior year, with the exception of London, which decreased nearly 4 percent. The forecast for 2019 indicates across-the-board growth, with Tokyo expecting the largest uptick in visitors.