Dubai receives 14.36 million international visitors in 2022
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Dubai receives 14.36 million international visitors in 2022

Dubai receives 14.36 million international visitors in 2022

The emirate closed in on its pre-pandemic visitor figures of 16.73 million recorded in 2019

Dubai receives 14.36 million international visitors in 2022

Dubai received 14.36 million international overnight visitors in 2022, growing 97 per cent year-on-year on 7.28 million tourists that arrived in the emirate the previous year.

Read: Dubai received 7.28 million overnight visitors in 2021

Last year’s arrival numbers closed in on the 2019 pre-pandemic visitor figures of 16.73 million, according to Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism’s data.

Read: Dubai welcomes 16.73 million tourists in 2019

Dubai’s inbound visitors last year reached 86 per cent of its pre-pandemic levels, while arrivals to the Middle East reached 83 per cent, official news agency WAM reported.

“Dubai’s ability to rapidly accelerate tourism growth, which has marked it out as a clear frontrunner in the international industry, demonstrates the far-reaching vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to transform the emirate into an important global player in shaping the future of vital sectors,” said Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council.

“The remarkable rise in international visitation in 2022 supports the ambitious goal of the Dubai Economic Agenda D33 to double the size of the emirate’s economy by 2033.”

Read: Sheikh Mohammed launches Dubai Economic Agenda, ‘D33’ aims to double size of economy in 10 years

However, global tourist travel in 2022 was 37 per cent lower than 2019, United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) data reveals.

“While the global economy remains in a state of flux, Dubai has emerged as a clear leader in the tourism industry,” added Helal Saeed Almarri, director general of Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism.

“As the fastest growing city in the Middle East, Dubai’s continuous growth has been made possible by the unwavering support of our stakeholders and partners and a raft of strategic investments and federal policy reforms that have led to a steady flow of global entrepreneurs, talent, investors, and business and leisure travellers.”

Dubai received significant visitors from its stronghold markets. Western Europe and GCC regions each accounted for a 21 per cent share of arrivals. South Asia contributed 17 per cent of total volume, 12 per cent of visitors arrived from the MENA region. The Americas accounted for seven per cent of arrivals, while visitors from the North Asia and South East Asia regions and Africa each contributed five per cent. Australasia accounted for two per cent.

Issam Kazim, CEO of Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing, said: “The sheer diversity of the destination proposition and Dubai’s growing profile as a safe, open and accessible destination saw the city being chosen as the No.1 global destination for the second year in a row in the Tripadvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards 2023.”

Hospitality sector 
Dubai’s hotel sector continued to perform strongly, with average occupancy in 2022 equalling 73 per cent, up from 67 per cent in 2021, and nearly reaching 75 per cent recorded in 2019.

The emirate’s hotel inventory at the end of December 2022 comprised 146,496 rooms at 804 hotel establishments, compared to 126,120 rooms available at the end of December 2019 across 741 establishments.

The total number of hotels in 2022 marked a six per cent growth over 2021, with 755 hotel establishments offering 137,950 rooms.

Occupied room nights reached a high of 37.43 million in 2022, up 19 per cent versus 31.47 million in 2021, and a 17 per cent greater than 32.11 million recorded in 2019. The average daily rate of Dhs536 in 2022 surpassed its 2021 (Dhs451) and 2019 (Dhs415) peers.

Key events and launches
Several events, such the Expo 2020 Dubai, made a massive contribution to the tourism industry. The six-month long event beckoned over 24 million visits from across the world.

Read: Over 24 million visits recorded at recently concluded Expo 2020 Dubai

The emirate also continued to host global business and leisure events in 2022, including Gulfood, the World Government Summit, Binance Blockchain Week, Gitex Global Dubai, the International Boat Show and the Arabian Travel Market.

Read: Arabian Travel Market 2022: The industry’s best on offer

The city hosted the Skift Global Forum East as well, where the launch of an annual Dubai Tourism Summit was announced.

Meanwhile, the Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment team (DFRE), which organises festivals and events such as the Dubai Shopping Festival, Dubai Food Festival, Dubai Summer Surprises and Dubai Fitness Challenge, launched the inaugural Dubai Esports Festival last year.

In 2022 the city’s international sporting calendar included the Dubai World Cup horse race, the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship, Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby 7s, the Dubai Desert Classic golf tournament and the DP World Tour championship.

The city’s culinary landscape was also recognised with the launch of the inaugural Michelin Guide Dubai in June 2022, featuring 69 restaurants, including 14 Bib Gourmand winners.

The last year saw the launch of the citywide sustainability initiative ‘Dubai Can’, which reduced the usage of an equivalent of over 3.5 million 500ml single-use plastic water bottles.

Read: Dubai Can: Free drinking water to be made available across city

Other key attractions that were launched last year include the Museum of the Future; Expo City Dubai; and Atlantis The Royal, a mega resort located on Palm Jumeirah.

Read: In pictures: Sheikh Mohammed inaugurates Museum of the Future

Read: Sheikh Mohammed visits Atlantis The Royal, Dubai’s latest iconic landmark

Also read: Expo 2020 Dubai: What legacy has it left in its wake?

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