Dubai surpasses global tourism growth



Government of Dubai Media Office – 23 January 2020: 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.

With momentum firmly tracking against Dubai's Tourism Vision 2022-25, latest data released by Dubai's Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) reflects the sector's exponential progress in a compressed time-frame relative to peers, culminating in Dubai being ranked the World's Fourth Most Visited City for the fifth consecutive year by MasterCard's Global Destination Cities Index 2019. Rapidly gaining traction on the 'travel wish list' for today's global traveller, 2019 not only delivered record tourist arrivals and indicated strong desirability for future visits, but also reinforced tourism's role as key economic growth driver. 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.

His Excellency Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General, Dubai Tourism, said: "The strong performances across our diversified spectrum of traditional strongholds and fast-growing high value segments have continued to solidify the global competitiveness and sustained resilience of Dubai's tourism sector. 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 Sheikh 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 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.

Celebrities-led Mega Campaigns:
Dubai Tourism's efforts to showcase the diversity of its offerings to a worldwide audience have been amplified through mega celebrity-led initiatives, with the first-of-its-kind global campaign for Dubai featuring a powerful all-female Hollywood superstar cast bringing up the last quarter with resounding success. 'A Story Takes Flight', a short film directed by award-winning filmmaker Reed Morano and featuring three top Hollywood superstars Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Hudson and Zoe Saldana, brings Dubai to the fore in three separate journeys of exploration through the city. The film has so far generated 340 million views across digital platforms in under eight weeks of run-time.

Multi-platform Social Engagement:
2019 saw Dubai Tourism launching many technology-led pilot activations across social media and digital platforms, positioning Dubai as a major partner for global technology players. The activations sought to influence decision-making related to outbound travel through cutting-edge user-generated initiatives.

Strengthening Dubai's position as the 'leading cruise hub of the region', the emirate welcomed six international cruise liners on 29 December, through its award-winning Mina Rashid cruise terminal, which dealt with formalities and processes for more than 60,000 cruise passengers. Following a highly successful 2018/2019 cruise season, which saw a record increase of over 51 per cent in cruise tourist footfall and a 38 per cent increase in cruise ship calls, Dubai is expected to welcome more than 200 ship calls and an estimated one million cruise visitors during the 2019/2020 season.

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