Dubai is the fourth-most popular destination in the world in 2017 and visitors here on average spend more nightly than anywhere else.

According to the ninth annual Mastercard Global Destinations Cities Index, the emirate welcomed 14.87 million international overnight visitors in 2016 — with an expected continued growth of 7.7 per cent for 2017 — who spent $28.50 billion (Dh104.6 billion).

“Dubai continues to be a must-visit and must-return destination for both business and leisure travellers, and the opening of world-class attractions and venues such as IMG Worlds of Adventure, Dubai Parks and Resorts and Dubai Opera in 2016 enhanced the offering for all visitors, including families,” said Issam Kazim, CEO, Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DCTCM).

Abu Dhabi, which grew 18.9 per cent between 2009 and 2016, retained its position as the fastest-growing city in the Middle East and Africa. It is the fourth-fastest growing city globally.