Dubai receives 7.1 million international visitors in 6 months

City is world's safest thanks to Sheikh Mohammed's vision, says Dubai Crown Prince

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A Staff Reporter

Published: Sun 7 Aug 2022, 5:29 PM

Last updated: Sun 7 Aug 2022, 6:51 PM

Dubai has received over 7.12 million international overnight visitors in the first six months of this year. Tourist numbers are now closing in on pre-pandemic levels, with a growth of more than 183 per cent year on year in the first half of 2022.

Between January and June last year, a little over 2.5 million tourists had visited Dubai.

The number of tourists recorded in H1 2022 is close to the numbers achieved in the first six months of 2019: 8.36 million tourists. The emirate’s ability to quickly return to near pre-pandemic tourism levels is “even more remarkable, given the impact of unprecedented challenges and other macroeconomic factors on the global economy and tourism sector”, the Government of Dubai Media Office said.

Data from Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism revealed that hotel occupancy has reached 74 per cent in H1 2022 — one of the highest in the world.

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, said: “The rapid rise in international tourist arrivals puts Dubai on track to achieve its ambitious target of becoming the world’s most visited destination. In the years ahead, Dubai will continue to develop itself further as a destination that offers compelling value to international travellers.”

He hailed the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to make Dubai the city of the future and the world’s best place to live, work and invest in.

Source markets

Western Europe accounted for a significant share of tourist arrivals, comprising 22 per cent of total international visitors in the first six months of 2022. Mena and GCC continued to make an impact, collectively contributing 34 per cent.

These regions were followed closely by South Asia, with a share of 16 per cent; and Russia, CIS and Eastern Europe together accounting for 11 per cent.

“The wide geographic spread reflects Dubai’s diversified strategy aimed at driving traffic from a broad spectrum of countries and visitor segments, mitigating the risks associated with over-reliance on any one region, and underscoring the success of destination marketing campaigns delivering customised messaging across specialised audience-specific platforms,” the media office said.

Hotel occupancy

The 75 per cent average occupancy for the hotel sector between January and June 2022 is just short of the 76 per cent registered during the pre-pandemic period of H1 2019.

“This is particularly noteworthy as it was achieved in spite of a +19 per cent increase in room capacity over the same period in 2019. Dubai’s hotel inventory by the end of June 2022 comprised 140,778 rooms open at 773 hotel establishments, compared to 118,345 rooms available at the end of June 2019 across 714 establishments,” the media office said.

Meanwhile, the total number of hotels in H1 2022 marked an 8 per cent growth over H1 2021, highlighting continued strong investor confidence in Dubai’s tourism sector.

The hotel sector outperformed pre-pandemic levels across all other key measurements – Occupied Room Nights, Average Daily Rate (ADR) and Revenue per Available Room (RevPAR). Dubai hotel establishments delivered a combined 18.47million occupied room nights during the first six months of the year, a +30.4 per cent YoY growth, and a +18 per cent increase over the pre-pandemic period of H1 2019.

In addition, the ADR of Dh567 in the first half of the year surpassed the ADRs for both H1 2021 (Dh382) and 2019 (Dh444), with 48.5 per cent and 28 per cent YoY growth, respectively.

Global appeal

Dubai has been acing the list of most popular tourist and travel destinations. The emirate was ranked number 1 global destination in Tripadvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards 2022.

Last month, the emirate topped the list of most popular city breaks around the world, according to a study by hotel chain Premier Inn.

TikTok Travel Index 2022 released by Bounce rated the city the most-viewed destination on the popular social media platform, with views for videos featuring the hashtag 'Dubai' totalling over 81.8 billion.

A study by UK-based firm TonerGiant found that Dubai has the most popular skyline on Instagram, making it the most photogenic in the world with the highest average number of likes per photo.


From Dubai to the world

Dubai continues to engage global audiences through international campaigns and in-market trade activities that highlight it as a destination of choice. This includes the ‘Dubai Presents’ campaign, which promotes the city’s attractions through a series of movie-style trailers featuring stars from both Hollywood and Bollywood.

Marketing activities in key international markets have also been enhanced to showcase the city as the summer destination of choice, particularly through a rewarding ‘Stay More, Pay Less’ summer campaign to attract travellers and families to Dubai, in addition to driving traffic to the ongoing Dubai Summer Surprises festival.

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