Dubai: The fourth-most visited city in the world, Dubai attracts millions of tourists and business travelers every year, but how much do they spend during their trip?

According to the statistics provided by MasterCard, visitors staying in Dubai overnight spent $10.9 billion (Dh40 billion) last year. That’s about Dh3,000 average spend per person, considering that 13.2 million overnight travelers stayed in Dubai in 2014.

As more people come to Dubai for business or pleasure this year, visitor spending is forecast to grow further by 7.1 per cent in 2015 to reach $11.68 billion, the ninth highest in the world.

In the latest Global Destination Cities Index by MasterCard, Dubai emerged as the fourth most visited city out of 132 top destinations for international travelers, behind London, Paris and Bangkok.

Dubai’s latest ranking, which is based on the number of visitors staying overnight, is a significant jump from the eighth position in 2012.

The global payments giant predicted that the emirate will welcome almost 14.3 million international visitors in 2015, a ratio of 5.7 international overnight visitors per city resident.

Dubai has also retained its top position in the Middle East region for international association meetings, and climbed 19 places globally to 44th position in the 2014 International Congress and Convention Association (Icca) World rankings, up from the 6rd place in 2013.

Dubai’s tourism industry has been one of the key drivers of economic growth.

In 2014, due to a robust performance across the hospitality, aviation and retail sectors, tourism in Dubai generated a direct gross domestic product (GDP) impact of Dh45 billion, an increase of  about 10 per cent from a year earlier (Dh41 billion) , according to Dubai Tourism.

“The impact on the increased contribution of tourism to Dubai’s economy is demonstrable through the 10 per cent rise in economic contribution when compared to 2013,” Issam Kazim, CEO of Dubai Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DCTCM), said in a statement sent to Gulf News.

“The Dh41 billion figure only relates to the direct contribution of tourism and it shows the value that aviation and transportation, hospitality, retail, food and beverage, and the emirate’s attractions and experiences bring. The increases across each sector demonstrate that visitors to Dubai are attracted not only to come to the emirate, but to experience the full range of the destination offering.”