Dubai: Dubai has retained its crown as the most visited city in the Middle East and landed sixth in the world in the latest global ranking of tourist destinations.
Euromonitor International unveiled on Tuesday the Top 100 City Destinations Ranking for 2017 and the latest report shows there are now more tourists visiting Dubai than many other places on earth.
Top performing cities in Middle East, 2017
Dubai has moved one place up, from the seventh to the sixth position, edging out tourist hotspots like Paris, New York, Rome and Tokyo.
It is the only Middle Eastern city in the top ten and is expected to attract more than 26 million visitors by 2025, overtaking London, which is currently in the third place.
Overall, Hong Kong held on to its title of the most visited city in the world for the eighth consecutive year, followed by Bangkok.
The top ten most visited cities in the world are:
1.Hong Kong: 26.6 million visitors
2.Bangkok: 21.2 million visitors
3.London: 19.2 million visitors
4.Singapore: 16.6 million visitors
5.Macau: 15.4 million visitors
6.Dubai: 14.9 million visitors
7.Paris: 14.4 million visitors
8.New York: 12.7 million visitors
9.Shenzhen: 12.6 million visitors
Kuala Lumpur: 12.3 million visitors
According to Euromonitor’s data, the number of tourists visiting Dubai has jumped by 11.2 per cent, from 14.9 million in 2016 to more than 16.5 million in 2017, making it a far more popular destination of choice for travellers compared to most cities on earth.
“Dubai seems insulated from all the turmoil that is going on around it. The city’s tourism industry is booming,” Euromonitor said.
The city’s rise to popularity is thanks to the integrated approach by all industry players under the 2020 vision.
This year, Dubai is regarded as the most sought-after destination for business travellers, or for meetings, incentives, conferencing and exhibitions (MICE) due to its modern infrastructure and premium lodging landscape.
“Regional offices in free zones further strengthen the case for business travellers,” said Nikola Kosutic, Euromonitor senior research manager.
“The dominance of four to five-star lodging discourages aspiring tourists from developing countries but expansion of mid-market options and Airbnb helps bridge the gap thereby sourcing more tourists.”
Other key takeaways of the new ranking
Dubai is by far the largest and fastest-growing destination in the Middle East and Africa, but Saudi Arabia has three cities in the top ranking.
"The hajj is a major draw for arrivals to the country, but the kingdom is looking to ensure it is not just Mecca that benefits," Euromonitor said. "While Dubai is booming, many cities are dealing with turmoil."
The top ten most visited Middle East and African cities are:
Dubai has recently bagged a number of awards during the World Travel Awards, which seeks to honour excellence in the tourism industry.
The emirate was named the Middle East’s leading destination of the year, while a number of its landmarks, including the Burj Khalifa and Burj Al Arab were declared the region’s leading tourist attraction and leading all-suite hotel for 2017, respectively.
Full list: 100 Most visitied cities on earth:
- Hong Kong
- New York
- Kuala Lumpur
- Las Vegas
- Los Angeles
- Ho Chi Minh City
- Johor Bahru
- Ha Noi
- San Franciso
- Ha Long
- Punta Cana
- Damman City
- Penang Island
- Phnom Penh
- St Petersburg
- Chiang Mai
- Tel Aviv
- Rio de Janeiro
- Buenos Aires
- Siem Reap
- Mexico City
- Washington DC
- Abu Dhabi
Source: Euromonitor International