Dubai attracted 20% more international visitors in first 11 months of 2023

Dubai hosted 15.37 million overnight international visitors in the first 11 months of 2023, up by about 20 per cent annually, with the emirate’s tourism sector making a strong rebound after Covid-19.

The 11-month performance is 2.5 per cent above the 15 million international visitors the emirate hosted in the same period in 2019, before the onset of the pandemic, data from Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism showed.

The emirate, which has been recording a surge in tourism numbers, was ranked the world’s most popular destination for holidaymakers in Tripadvisor’s 2023 Travellers’ Choice Awards for a second year in a row.

Dubai International Airport welcomed 22.9 million passengers in the third quarter of 2023, the highest quarterly traffic since 2019, operator Dubai Airports said in November.

That took the total traffic for the first nine months of the year to 64.5 million passengers, up 39.3 per cent from the same period in 2022.

Overall, Dubai Airports expects visitor traffic for the entire year to exceed pre-coronavirus levels and hit 86.8 million, up from 86.4 million in 2019.

Western Europe was Dubai’s top source market in the first 11 months of 2023, accounting for 2.9 million travellers or 19 per cent of the total number of international visitors to the emirate, the DET said.

South Asia was the second-biggest source market during the period, with 2.75 million visitors or 18 per cent of the total.

The GCC was the third-biggest region contributing visitors to Dubai, with 2.43 million visitors or 16 per cent of the total.

The roughly two million tourists from Russia, the Commonwealth of Independent States and Eastern Europe contributed 13 per cent of the total number of people visiting Dubai, the data showed.

Visitors from the Mena region made up 12 per cent of tourists that visited Dubai while North and South-East Asia accounted for 9 per cent, the Americas 7 per cent and Africa 4 per cent.

Hatta Cultural Nights give visitors a glimpse of UAE traditions

The jump in tourist arrivals kept the emirate’s hotels busy, with average occupancy during the year through to November rising to 77.2 per cent, up from 72.6 per cent in the same period of 2022 and exceeding the pre-Covid levels of 74.9 per cent in the first 11 months of 2019.

Revenue per available room, a hospitality industry performance metric, stood at Dh394 in the January to November period, up 4 per cent annually and 30 per cent compared with the corresponding period in 2019.

Hotel guests stayed 3.8 nights on average in the first 11 months of last year, slightly below the four-night average in the same period in 2022 and 3.4 nights in the corresponding period in 2019.

Updated: January 17, 2024, 11:18 AM

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