Dubai named fourth most popular city among international visitors - Gulf Business
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Dubai named fourth most popular city among international visitors

Dubai named fourth most popular city among international visitors

The emirate is expected to receive about 14.3 million international visitors this year, up by 8 per cent from 2014, a new study says.

Dubai was named the fourth most popular city among international travellers in 2015, according to the findings of the MasterCard Global Destinations cities index.

The index, launched in 2009, provides a ranking of the 132 most visited cities around the world, analysing travel patterns.

London topped the index this year followed by Bangkok and Paris followed in second and third.

Dubai moved up from its fifth place last year. The emirate was ranked eighth in 2012 and seventh in 2013.

MasterCard said Dubai is expected to receive about 14.3 million international visitors this year, up by 8 per cent from 2014.

The emirate saw 5.7 visitors per resident, attracting the most overnight visitors per resident in the Middle East and Africa region. The city also generated more international overnight visitor expenditure per resident than any other city (estimated at $4,668), according to the study.

The top five origin cities for Dubai are Doha, London, Kuwait, Muscat, and Jeddah.

In addition, Dubai was ranked fifth in resilience, with 17 feeder cities accounting for 50 per cent of its international visitors. The number of feeder cities indicates the diversity of visitors a city has, making it more able to sustain tourism.

“We continue to see international visitors and their spending play an increasingly critical role in boosting economic dynamism in destination cities around the world,” said Yuwa Hedrick-Wong, global economic advisor to MasterCard.

“The global economic recovery remains tentative and uneven, and demand for exports continues to be weak. In this context, stronger growth in international visitors and spending can make a significant contribution to income and employment generation for the destination cities.”

Dubai was also the only city from the MEA on the top 10 air hubs list in the index, ranking third.

MasterCard estimates that nearly 383 million overnight trips will be made by international visitors between the Index’s 132 cities this year. Travellers are expected to spend $360 billion during their visits, driving up demand for goods and services.

Dubai has been ramping up its infrastructure and has invested in massive leisure and retail projects to meet its aim to attract 20 million tourists by 2020. The emirate expects to see a further five million visitors in 2020 when it hosts the Expo 2020 event for six months.

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