Dubai is officially one of the most-visited cities in the world, with Abu Dhabi the fastest-growing for visitors, according to a new report from Mastercard.
For the fifth year running, Dubai has retained its position as the fourth-most visited city, with 15.93 million international, overnight visitors landing in the city over the last 12 months. Meanwhile, Abu Dhabi was ranked as the fastest growing international destination in the list of 200 cities analysed, with the number of international visitors coming into the capital increasing by more than 16 percent per year since 2009.
“As the most attractive destination in the Middle East and Africa region for international visitors, Dubai connects people from all over the world with a diverse range of offerings for leisure and business travelers alike,” said Girish Nanda, General Manager, UAE & Oman, Mastercard.
With Dubai hosting nearly 16 million overnight visitors in the city in 2018, it’s expected to grow nearly 2 percent by the end of 2019, and of course a spike is expected as the city ramps up for a surge of visitors in time for Expo 2020 come October next year.
“The impressive visitor numbers are set to increase even further next year, as we welcome 192 nations for a once-in-a-lifetime celebration at Expo 2020 Dubai,” said Sanjive Khosala, Chief Commercial Officer for Expo 2020. “With millions of visitors projected to come from outside the UAE, we anticipate that the region’s first ever World Expo will create short- and long-term benefits for Dubai’s tourism industry while enhancing its reputation as a dynamic and diverse global meeting point.”
Dubai also happens to see the highest average daily spend and total spend from its visitors. Some US$30.82 billion (Dhs113.2 billion) spent in total, ahead of cities across Asia, the Middle East and Europe, while daily average spend is US$553 (Dhs2,031), some US$257 (Dhs943) ahead of the next city on the list, Paris.
For more information, head to www.mastercard.com.