Dubai boasts a substantial hotel capacity exceeding 150,000 rooms. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Dubai: Dubai achieved a historic milestone in tourism with a remarkable influx of 17 million international visitors in 2023. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council, announced this achievement on his X (formerly known as Twitter) account.

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Emphasizing the city’s leading position in the global tourism sector, Sheikh Hamdan highlighted an impressive hotel occupancy rate of 77.4 per cent, positioning Dubai among the destinations with one of the highest rates worldwide. He said the city boasts a substantial hotel capacity exceeding 150,000 rooms.

“These achievements align with the objectives of the Dubai Economic Agenda D33, aiming to position Dubai as one of the top three cities worldwide for business and tourism,” said Sheikh Hamdan.

On Tuesday, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, said the Emirate’s non-oil foreign trade surged to Dh2 trillion, achieving the milestone one year ahead of schedule.

“In 2020, before the Covid crisis, we set a target for Dubai’s non-oil foreign trade to reach Dh2 trillion by 2025. However, with the onset of the pandemic, our team informed me of the impossibility of achieving this goal due to the global trade disruptions caused by the crisis. As life experiences have taught me, crises present opportunities for innovation and thinking beyond conventional norms,” Sheikh Mohammed said.

Dubai was ranked the world’s most popular destination for holidaymakers in Tripadvisor’s 2023 Travellers’ Choice Awards for the second year.

According to the Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism, the Emirate welcomed 15.37 million overnight visitors from January to November 2023, an increase of 20 per cent compared to last year.

Dubai welcomed 2.75 million visitors from South Asian countries and 2.91 million visitors from Western European countries during this time. Tourist numbers from Western European countries surpassed South Asian tourism numbers last year.

According to DED's monthly Tourism Performance Report, 2.43 million visitors from GCC nations travelled to Dubai from January to November 2023. The report added that about 2 million visitors arrived from Russia, CIS and Eastern European countries and 1.08 million from the Americas.