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Dubai Says it Received Nearly 15 Million Visitors in 2016 | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A visitor walks at Dubai Miracle Garden, in Dubai, UAE February 29, 2016. Picture taken February 29, 2016. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah – RTS8PO2

Dubai – Dubai attracted 14.9 million visitors in 2016, with an increase of five percent compared to the previous year, according to Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism).

In a statement issued on Monday, Dubai Tourism said that the Emirates was definitely on track to meet the target of attracting 20 million annual tourists by 2020.

According to the statement, the largest number of visitors came from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), with a total of 3.4 million tourists, with Saudis leading the list.

Dubai Tourism Director General Helal Saeed Almarri said: “2016 was another milestone marker for Dubai’s travel sector, as we rallied strong, and ramped up the momentum to significantly outpace the four-year global industry average by double… Dubai has cemented its ranking as the fourth most visited city in the world, critically delivering the highest value to the domestic economy with our number one ranking in terms of spend per tourist compared to any other competitor destination.”

“With an expensive dollar, we are focused on innovative value creation and superlative experience delivery as fundamental to future growth. In this, we not only expect to drive volumes from the stronghold countries by identifying and further developing niche segments, but also seek to activate frontier markets that offer considerable potential for growth,” he added.

Almarri noted that the Emirate’s infrastructure, accommodation, air connectivity, access and policy enablers “continue to be the facilitating levers that ensure Dubai remains price competitive and hugely attractive for a broad range of global travellers.”

“By consistently outpacing the global forecast for visitors, we remain extremely confident about the future outlook for Dubai, especially considering the global headwinds we have faced in last year, as we remain in the top four most visited cities in the world,” he stated.