Dubai to welcome 20 million international tourists by 2020

Dubai has seen an impressive increase of tourists flocking to the emirate in recent years and the numbers are set to surge even higher as the UAE city strives to become more tourist friendly.


Tourists bosses estimate that a whopping 20 million international tourists will visit Dubai by 2020

The soaring figures come as new tourist destinations open up, the government pumps in more support and tourists are made exempt from value-added tax.

Dubai Tourism says the emirate is on track to achieve its target, as it recorded 15.8 million overnight visitors in 2017 – a 6.2 per cent increase from 2016 – and 4.7 million international overnight visitors were recorded in the first quarter of 2018 – a 2 per cent rise from the same period last year.

The UAE hospitality market is expected to reach $7.6 billion (£5.8 billion) by 2022, up from €5.1 billion (£3.9 million) in 2017.

Airbnb rates are also soaring in the UAE, with revenues surging by 421 per cent in Dubai between August 2015 and August 2017, according to a report by Chesterton’s MENA.

Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries have well-defined strategies to develop themselves as preferred travel destinations,” Sameena Ahmad, managing director at investment bank Alpen Capital, told Middle East news site Al Bawaba.

“They are making significant investments into the development of tourism and hospitality infrastructure, including airport expansions to increase the handling capacity of anticipated visitor inflow.”

Big events – such as the Expo 2020 Dubai – and government initiatives to boost tourism are the primary drivers behind growth.

Tourism-friendly endeavours in Dubai include indoor amusement park IMG Worlds of Adventure, theme park Dubai Parks and Resorts and architectural landmark Dubai Frame.

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Food and beverage businesses are also starting to offer better value from a consumer perspective.