India has topped the list of Dubai’s source markets for inbound tourism, with more than six lakh tourists from the country arriving in the emirate in the first three months this year, registering an impressive seven per cent year-on-year increase.

Welcoming 4.7 million international overnight tourists from January-March 2018, Dubai posted a stable two per cent increase in traffic versus the same period last year, as reported by Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism).

Recording an impressive seven per cent year-on-year increase to deliver 6,17,000 visitors, India helped level out the relatively stable second-placed Saudi Arabia (minus one per cent) and the steeper decline in visitation from third-placed the UK (minus eight per cent). Leading source markets continued to highlight their affinity for Dubai as the top three retained their positions versus 2017.

Russia ended the quarter in fourth place, continuing its upward trajectory by topping the growth charts with a stellar 106 per cent increase over quarter one 2017, delivering 2,59,000 tourists, benefiting from availability of visa-on-arrival facilities for Russian citizens from early last year. Similarly, fifth-placed China also continued to leverage its visa-on-arrival status, delivering 2,58,000 Chinese visitors, up a strong 12 per cent.

Posting double-digit increases in most countries, Europe made particularly strong contributions in the first three months of the year, with Germany in seventh place, up 13 per cent with 1,94,000 visitors, France up 17 per cent with 1,03,000 in 12th place, and 14th-placed Italy up 20 per cent with 80,000. In a record first appearance, Sweden featured among Dubai’s top 20 source markets, delivering 42,000 visitors, up nine per cent.

Travellers from eighth-placed US increased by a moderate two per cent, while declines were witnessed by both ninth-placed Iran and 10th-placed Pakistan at 19 and 22 per cent respectively.

From a regional perspective, Western Europe retained pole position, contributing an unprecedented 23 per cent of overnight visitor volumes, ahead of the Gulf Cooperation Council and South Asia, both with 17 per cent shares.

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