Dubai welcomes increase in foreign tourism
The GCC continued to be the destination's leading feeder region, delivering 25 percent of all overnight stays to Dubai in the first quarter. The number of visitors from Saudi Arabia grew 14 percent from January to March this year compared to last year, making it the number-one source country, followed by strong growth from Oman. Kuwait and Qatar rounded out the high-performing regional traffic.
The subcontinent also remained a key driver of tourism volume, with the number of visitors from India growing 17 percent in the opening quarter, making it the second largest feeder country, followed by Pakistan.
Despite challenging global market conditions and a strong U.S. dollar, visitors from Western Europe continued to be second largest source region with a 23 percent visitor share so far this year. This was led by 10 percent year-on-year quarter growth from the U.K., which remained Dubai's third largest country contributor.
"Global travel in the first three months of this year has been impacted by geo-political, social and economic uncertainties, with most markets experiencing flat to negative growth," Helal Almarri, director general of Dubai Tourism, said. "I see Dubai's highly agile, fragmented source market approach, the strength of our government, public and private sector partnerships, as well as our effective promotional and marketing outreach, as having been fundamental to fueling overall growth."