DXB retained its crown as the world’s busiest international hub for the 10th year in a row. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Dubai welcomed 5.18m international overnight visitors in the first three months of 2024, 11 per cent higher than the first quarter of last year, the Department of Economy and Tourism (DET) revealed.

DET has said that the Emirate saw 4.67m tourist arrivals during the same period in 2023.

Hotels in the Emirate recorded an occupancy rate of 83 per cent, ranking among the highest globally, said Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, wrote on X (formerly known as Twitter).

“Dubai remains committed to delivering an exceptional tourism experience, aligned with the goal of the Dubai Economic Agenda D33 to establish Dubai’s position as one of the world's top three cities for tourism,” he shared.

Issam Kazim, the CEO of Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), credited the robust growth numbers to increased global airline capacities and the Emirate’s ‘diversified approach to boosting its tourism numbers’.

“We always talked about Dubai being home to different nationalities. But we’re also attracting tourists from across the globe,” he said.

According to DET, the majority of Dubai's tourists, totalling 1.138 million arrivals, hailed from Western European markets, followed by 869,000 South Asian visitors.

About 817,000 visitors were recorded from countries belonging to the CIS States and Eastern Europe, 605,000 from the MENA region, 664,000 from the GCC region, and 344,000 from the Americas.

“For us, the opportunities exist from a point-to-point perspective where we’ve seen great growth. But we are constantly leveraging the connectivity and the role Dubai plays in connecting the rest of the world through Dubai International Airport (DXB),” explained Kazim.

DXB retained its crown as the world’s busiest international hub for the 10th year in a row, according to Airports Council International, catering to 86.9 million passengers in 2023. The world’s busiest passenger hub is expected to announce its Q1 2024 figures sometime in the coming days.

“So it shows there is a transit opportunity, a chance to get people through the doors for the first time and create repeat visitors,” said Kazim. He added that about 25 per cent of the visitors in Dubai are repeat visitors. “By repeat, I mean they come back to Dubai again and again within 12 months. So that is again the number that solidifies Dubai’s position regarding quality of service,” he added.

Kazim also said the opening of the new passenger terminal planned for Al Maktoum International, also known as Dubai World Central (DWC), is expected to boost visitor numbers and investments.

“This airport aims to attract visitors to Dubai and facilitate business travel and logistics. These developments align well with our strategy to attract more visitors, new residents, and businesses to Dubai,” he stated.