Dubai received 7.28 million overnight visitors in 2021
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Dubai received 7.28 million overnight visitors in 2021

Dubai received 7.28 million overnight visitors in 2021

Hotels in the emirate recorded average occupancy levels of 67 per cent last year


Dubai hosted 7.28 million international overnight visitors between January and December 2021, representing a 32 per cent year-over-year growth.

International visitation to the city crossed 3.4 million in the fourth quarter of last year, achieving 74 per cent of the total pre-pandemic tourist arrivals in Q4 2019, according to Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism (DET)’s data.

India reigned as the top source market with 910,000 visitors, marking a 5.3 per cent year-on-year growth, followed by 491,000 travellers from Saudi Arabia (22.8 per cent increase) while Russia and the United Kingdom contributed 444,000 visitors (50.3 per cent rise) and 420,000 visitors (7.1 per cent surge) respectively.

The MENA and GCC markets collectively contributed to 26 per cent of the total visitor volume. Western Europe accounted for 22 per cent of total visitors in 2021, with visitation led by UK, followed by France, Germany, Italy and Netherlands.

South Asia contributed 18 per cent of the international visitation with Russia, CIS and Eastern Europe together making a 15 per cent contribution, official news agency WAM reported.

Hotel occupancy in Q4 2021 stood at over 81.4 percent, compared to 80.7 per cent during Q4 2019. Overall, average occupancy levels reached 67 per cent in 2021 compared to 54 per cent recorded during the previous year.

By the end of 2021, Dubai’s visitors and residents could choose from a total of 755 hotel establishments and 137,950 rooms, compared to 711 hotels establishments that were open with 126,947 rooms at the end of 2020.

Guests also spent longer in hotels across the emirate last year, with average length of stay reaching 4.6 nights (up from 4.2 nights in 2020), while the total of 31.47 million occupied room nights represented 53.7 per cent growth compared to 2020, and approximately 98 per cent of the occupied room nights of 2019.

Helal Saeed Al Marri, director general, Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism, said: “Dubai’s success in 2021 is testament to the carefully calibrated strategy and decisive measures that were put in place at the outset to counter and manage the pandemic across all sectors including trade and tourism. As we move forward throughout 2022, we are confident that the significant momentum now gathered will accelerate even further to continue to attract not just tourists but also investors, entrepreneurs and innovators to Dubai, enabling them to enjoy and avail themselves of all that our multi-faceted city has to offer.”

The emirate is currently hosting Expo 2020 Dubai, which recorded close to 11 million visits past its halfway mark.

Read: Mobility: How Expo 2020 Dubai is beckoning a technology-led future

Each of the 192 country pavilions – spread across three main districts of sustainability, mobility and opportunity – will have the chance to showcase their innovations and strategies.

Read: Opportunity: Expo 2020 Dubai is keen to usher in an inclusive tomorrow

The exhibition, which will run until March 31, 2022, is the very first world expo where every participating country has its own pavilion.

Read more: Sustainability: Expo 2020 Dubai is keen to promote a viable future

The emirate also introduced a number of new attractions and leisure destinations in 2021, such as Ain Dubai, Deep Dive Dubai, Hatta Dome Park and The View at The Palm.

Read: World’s tallest and largest observation wheel, Ain Dubai, to open this October

Read: Sheikh Hamdan opens world’s deepest swimming pool in Dubai

Issam Kazim, chief executive officer, Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing, commented: “In showcasing Dubai as a must-visit destination to an international audience and maintaining momentum, we have leveraged and depended on a combination of factors including our focus on a diversified multi-geographic approach to markets, the strong public-private sector partnerships and global campaigns designed to create awareness of Dubai, highlight its unique propositions and most importantly emphasise that the city is safe, open and accessible to all.”

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