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Dubai sees 4.1m visitors from January to March
Posted Date 2016/04/26 04:47

Dubai welcomed a record 4.1 million tourists during the first three months of the year, jumping up 5.1 per cent compared to the same period in 2015, official figures showed.

According to figures released by Dubai's Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism), the region saw strong double digit growth in visitor numbers from the around the GCC and India.

The GCC remained the top feeder market for the emirate, accounting for 25 per cent of the total number of visitors during the first quarter of the year.

Visitors from Saudi Arabia grew 14 per cent to 476,000 from January to March in 2016, making it the number one source country, followed by strong growth from Oman, which increased by 32 per cent to 322,000 visitors over the same period in 2015.

Kuwait brought in 119,000 visitors and Qatar saw 26 per cent spike in visitor volumes, rounding off the high performing regional traffic with strong contributions.

The subcontinent also remained a key driver of tourism volumes with India growing at 17 per cent in the opening quarter to deliver 467,000 visitors, followed by Pakistan, which rose 18 per cent over the same period.

Despite global economic uncertainties, visitors from Western Europe continued to be the second largest source market, driving in 23 per cent of the total visitor arrivals to the emirate in the opening quarter of 2016.

This was led by 10 per cent year-on-year quarter growth from the UK, which remained Dubai's third largest contributing country with 334,000 visitors.

Helal Saeed Almarri, director general, Dubai Tourism, said: "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. 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 fuelling overall growth.

"Markets within the four hour flight path, specifically the GCC and India, remain a critical focus for our on-going visitation attraction efforts as build towards our growth targets."

Dubai also recorded 2016’s highest first-quarter average daily rate (ADR) among major markets around the world, marking the 12th consecutive year that Dubai has led this group of markets in Q1 ADR, a new report revealed.

Even with a 10.1 per cent drop in year-over-year comparisons, Dubai’s ADR for Q1 2016 was $234.88. Only three other major markets finished the quarter with ADR levels above $200.00 in constant currency: Paris, France; New York, US and Singapore, showed a report by STR Global, a leading provider of global hotel data.

“January through March is typically a slower time for other popular markets like New York, London and Paris,” said Philip Wooller, STR’s Middle East and Africa area director. “But these are peak months for Dubai, as temperatures are more moderate, drawing in visitors from around the world. Dubai also has been one of the top five markets for year-end ADR levels every year since 2002, proving itself as the premier hotel market in the Middle East and as one of the top hotel markets in the world.”

During Q1 2016, Dubai’s performance was helped by major events including the Omega Dubai Desert Classic (golf), the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship, the Dubai World Cup (horse racing), the Dubai International Boat Show, Gulfood (global food and hospitality trade event) and the Arab Health Exhibition & Congress.

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