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Commenting on Dubai's status as a top tourism destination, Tripadvisor said: "A favourite with celebs and influencers, the ‘City of Gold’ continues to attract tourists from all over the world seeking out their slice of luxury." Image Credit: WAM

Dubai has been ranked as the most popular destination in the world for the second year running by the Tripadvisor Travelers' Choice Awards for destinations.

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council, took to Twitter to share the news.

Sheikh Hamdan said the recognition from Tripadvisor supports the goal of the Dubai Economic Agenda D33, launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai on January 4, to consolidate Dubai's status as one of the world's top three destinations for tourism and business.

With financial targets of $8.7 trillion over the next 10 years, the D33 agenda aims to make the emirate one of the top three international destinations for tourism and business. Sheikh Hamdan stated: "Dubai's diverse tourism attractions and hospitality offerings, combined with its emergence as a leading venue for global events and a magnet for talent and enterprise, will continue to reinforce its status as a favourite among international travellers over the next decade.

The Dubai Crown Prince explained: "The Emirate's tourism, hospitality and events sectors have been at the forefront of a rebound and acceleration of global growth in these sectors over the last two years and will continue to play a key role in shaping their evolution in the future."

Top 10 destinations

Commenting on Dubai's status as a top tourism destination, Tripadvisor said: "A favourite with celebs and influencers, the 'City of Gold' continues to attract tourists from all over the world seeking out their slice of luxury. Dubai is a destination that mixes modern culture with history, adventure with world-class shopping and entertainment."

Bali, London, Rome, Paris, Cancun, Crete, Marrakech, Dominican Republic and Istanbul wrapped up the top 10 cities in the list of 25. London retained its position as Europe's number one destination.

The highest-ranking American destination is New York, which ranks 23rd overall, and New Delhi, India has been placed 13th on the list of destinations. Tripadvisor Travellers' Choice Award winners are uniquely chosen by millions of travellers worldwide, who provided their opinions on destinations, activities and experiences from November 1, 2021, to October 31, 2022.

2023 outlook for Dubai tourism

Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General of Dubai's Department of Economy and Tourism (DET), said tourism is a central pillar of Dubai's economic growth and diversification. He said: "We also see this sector's growth providing many opportunities for national talents to enter the industry, and we will continue to provide an educational and training framework for their development."

While its 2022 inbound tourism numbers are yet to be revealed, Dubai announced last month that it is inching closer to its pre-pandemic tourism numbers. The emirate welcomed 12.82 million visitors in the first 11 months of 2022, up 112.96 per cent compared to the year-ago period, the Department of Economy and Tourism data showed. During this 11-month period, 794 hotel establishments with over 145,098 rooms also opened their doors to guests, delivering strong occupancy levels of 73 per cent.

Issam Kazim, CEO of Dubai Corporation for Tourism & Commerce Marketing (DCTCM), said, "Our focus for 2023 and beyond will be to drive and support growth through Dubai's mosaic of experiences across all our tourism pillars from entertainment to shopping and culture to culinary experiences."

The top Tripadvisor award is the latest addition to a series of international accolades bestowed on Dubai, demonstrating the city’s enduring appeal as a multifaceted destination. With more than 13,000 restaurants and cafes spread across the city, offering diverse cuisines for foodies and families, Dubai continued to win international recognition as a global gastronomy hub including the launch of the MICHELIN Guide Dubai and the arrival of renowned fine-dining restaurant critique guide Gault&Millau in 2022. Several of Dubai’s restaurants, chefs and gourmet experiences were also recognised in the inaugural edition of the Middle East & North Africa’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards 2022.