Dubai sees more than 7m international visitors in first half of 2022

Dubai attracted 7.12 million international overnight visitors between January and June 2022, thanks to Expo 2020 Dubai and marketing campaigns showcasing the destination.

The visitor total was up by 183% from the 2.52 million reported in 2021 but still behind the 8.36 million seen in the first six months of 2019, before the pandemic.

Figures from Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism show the top source market is India with 858,000.

It is followed by Oman and Saudi Arabia, with the UK in fourth place, with 506,000 visitors – up from 57,000 in the same period of 2021.

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Western Europe accounted for 22% of total international visitors in the first six months of 2022, while the Middle East, North Africa and Gulf nations together contributed 34% of the total.

Average occupancy for the hotel sector between January and June 2022 stood at 74%, compared to 62% in H1 2021, and 76% during the pre-pandemic period of H1 2019.

The emirate has also seen a 19% increase in room capacity since 2019.

The department said in a statement: “The highly encouraging industry performance is primarily attributed to the hugely successful six-month long Expo 2020 Dubai, which attracted over 24 million visits by the time it concluded on 31 March this year, as well as the continued support extended by both domestic and global partners in showcasing Dubai as a multi-faceted destination that is safe, open and accessible.”

It also pointed to a host of festivals, leisure and business events, including the Dubai Shopping Festival, Dubai Food Festival and Arabian Travel Market.

Furthermore, international marketing initiatives and trade activities have highlighted Dubai’s attractions, including a ‘Stay More, Pay Less’ summer campaign.

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and chairman of the executive council of Dubai, said: “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 Dubai the city of the future and the world’s best place to live, work and invest in has resulted in a resurgence of Dubai’s tourism sector.

“The growth in tourists reflects the resilience and dynamism of the emirate’s economy.

“The rapid rise in international tourist arrivals puts Dubai on track to achieve its ambitious target of becoming the world’s most visited destination.”

Picture credit: Rus S/

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