Dubai is expected to see a 7.7 per cent increase in overnight visitors this year after maintaining its ranking in Mastercard’s Global Destinations Cities Index.
The emirate stood fourth in the index of 132 destinations with 14.87 million international overnight visitors in 2016 and is expected to be the fastest growing destination in the top 10 this year.
Bangkok led the ranking with 19.41 million visitors last year and an expected growth rate of 4 per cent this year followed by London with 19.06 million and a forecast growth rate of 5 per cent and Paris with 15.45 million and a forecast growth rate of 4.4 per cent.
Should these predictions prove correct, Dubai will almost close the gap with Paris in 2017.
Abu Dhabi also maintained its position as the fourth fastest growing destination on the list with an 18.9 per cent increase in visitors annually between 2009 and 2016.
Elsewhere in the study, Dubai continued to have the highest international overnight visitor spend with $28.5bn in 2016 and 10.2 per cent growth forecast this year.
The city was followed by New York at $17.02bn and 1.5 per cent forecast growth and London at $16.09bn with a 4.6 per cent decline forecast.
“Dubai continues to reinforce its position on the world map as a highly attractive destination for visitors of all ages and nationalities. The city’s retail sector coupled with its year-round calendar of festivals, events and a wide range of shopping experiences, also continues to be a huge draw for international visitors as supported by its ranking as the top global destination in terms of visitor expenditure,” said Mastercard’s division president for Middle east and North Africa Khalid Elgibali.