Dubai has been ranked the fourth most visited city in the world . It has become a key destination for cruise liners. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News/archive

Dubai: With a record number of 16.73 million international overnight visitors, Dubai once again ranked the world’s most visited city in 2019 for the fifth consecutive year.

Nearly, two million Indian tourists topped the list of international visitors to Dubai during 2019 followed by 1.6 million tourists from Saudi Arabia and 1.2 million from UK.

Dubai’s tourism industry closed a successful decade at the end of 2019, welcoming an all-time high 16.73 million international overnight visitors, an impressive 5.1 per cent increase in tourism volumes, definitively surpassing the global tourism growth forecast by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) by over one per cent.

The latest data released by Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) on Thursday reflects the Dubai has been ranked the World’s Fourth Most Visited City for the fifth consecutive year by MasterCard’s Global Destination Cities Index 2019.

Economic share

Contributing an impressive 11.5 per cent in GDP value, Dubai’s tourism sector was ranked one of ‘Top 10’ strongest economic share generators, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council’s Cities Report 2019. The Report also ranked Dubai the third largest city in capturing direct international tourism spending with a total of US $27.9 billion.

Destination of choice

Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General, Dubai Tourism, said: “This past decade, and 2019 in particular, have delivered unmatched acceleration in Dubai’s stature as a ‘Destination of Choice’ for global travellers assuring advancement towards the vision of His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai to make it the #1 most visited, preferred and revisited global city.”

“While the global economy remains in a state of flux, we can clearly see an exciting opportunity to further grow Dubai’s dominance in the tourism industry in 2020, and to pioneer the next decade for global travel, offering unique and transformative tourism experiences created and driven by our strong appetite for radical innovation and stakeholder collaboration.”

Impressive growth

Impressive growth is evidenced by Dubai’s top six source markets — India, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), United Kingdom (UK), Oman, China and Russia — delivering over seven million visitors in 2019, with 9 of the top 10 countries crossing half a million visitors each for the first time, highlighting the robust diversity of Dubai’s base for tourist attraction.

‘Best in Travel’ for 2020

In a major boost for the city’s tourism sector, Dubai has been named one of the world’s top 10 cities for travellers to visit in 2020 by global travel authority Lonely Planet, which announced its ‘Best in Travel 2020’ list last October. Dubai’s attractiveness as a tourist hotspot was also acknowledged by major publications and news outlets such as CNN, Condé Nast Traveller, Travel & Leisure, Afar, Forbes and many others around the globe.

Number of tourists from top 10 countries to Dubai

1-India: two million

2-Saudi Arabia: 1.6 million

3-United Kingdom: 1.2 million

4-Oman: 1 million

5-China: 989,000

6-Russia: 728,000

7-USA: 667,000

8-Pakistan: 501,000

9-Philippines: 477,000

10- France: 382,000