Dubai has been ranked one of the most popular destinations for high-net-worth Chinese travellers in 2014, a new study has shown.
The emirate rose to the third position this year, up from the eighth position in 2013, according to a study by the Hurun Report, which was conducted in association with ILTM Asia and The Chinese Luxury Traveller 2014.
Almost 10 per cent of respondents named Dubai as a must visit destination over the next three years.
The majority of those polled also placed the emirate within the top 10 most popular countries for shopping.
Dubai saw a large influx of Chinese tourists in 2013 as it registered around 275,675 visitors from the Asian country, up 11 per cent compared to 2012. China is also a top source market for visitors to the emirate.
“The continual increase in guests from China can be attributed both to the emerging middle-class and increasing propensity for people from China to travel overseas and to the focus of DTCM and our partners on growing this high potential market,” said Issam Kazim, CEO of the Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM).
“With sight-seeing and shopping high on the agendas of Chinese leisure travellers, Dubai is an ideal destination; while for business travellers, through its superior business offering. Dubai also offers the largest Chinese trading hub outside of China – DragonMart, with plans for expansion currently underway.”
Dubai is also seeing a rise in the number of business visitors from China due to growing trade interests from Chinese businessmen.
“With Chinese investment in Africa growing rapidly we are also seeing a developing trend of business travel increasing with Dubai becoming the midway point,” said Rob Weeden, vice president sales and marketing, Shangri-La.
“Business travel has a habit of becoming a wonderful catalyst for family leisure travel; It’s fair to say that there are blue skies ahead for Dubai as it relates to Chinese inbound tourism.”
The UAE’s tourism officials are trying to tap into the potential of corporate holidays from the Chinese market following the largest ever-incentive trip to the Emirates by beauty product manufactures Nu Skin.
Around 14,500 employees of the Chinese corporate flew to the UAE in April this year, fuelling the country’s tourism revenues. The group visited a number of attractions in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
Dubai is seeing a growth in its Chinese expat population, which has led to events such as Chinese New Year being celebrated on a grand scale across hotels in the emirate.
Celebrations in 2014 included the Burj Al Arab illuminating its sail with a red dragon and hosting lion dances, musical performances and calligraphy demonstrations.
Special Chinese tasting menus were also on offer across Dubai’s restaurants and hotels with festivities including promotions, traditional dance performances and fireworks.