Dubai: Nearly 4.57 million travellers visited Dubai in the first quarter of 2017, representing over double the growth achieved in the first quarter of 2016, according to a statement from the emirate’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Market (Dubai Tourism).
Among Dubai’s top 20 source markets for inbound tourism, China and Russia continued to top the growth charts with a year-on-year growth rate of 64 per cent and 106 per cent respectively.
This was primarily due to regulatory changes that enabled citizens from each of these countries to obtain free visas on arrival to the UAE. Saudi Arabia, which has long been a key source market for Dubai, saw an 8 per cent decline in visitor numbers compared to 2016 driven by a backwards shift in annual school holiday.
Meanwhile, Abu Dhabi saw a 4 per cent year-on-year increase in the number of hotel guest arrivals during the first three months of the year, with the increase also driven by China and Russia. The single-digit increase in visitor numbers comes as Abu Dhabi aims to attract 4.9 million visitors by the end of 2017.