Dubai is forecast to see 5.5 per cent growth in tourists this year, moving it closer to Paris, according to a new study.
US payments firm Mastercard said the emirate remained the fourth most visited city out of 162 ranked in its Global Destination Cities Index, after welcoming 6.2 per cent more people in 2017 to 15.79 million.
Bangkok led the ranking with 20.05 million visitors and projected 2018 growth of 9.6 per cent, followed by London with 19.83 million and projected growth of 3 per cent and Paris with 17.44 million and projected growth of 2.9 per cent.
In last year’s study, Mastercard predicted Dubai would grow 7.7 per cent.
The Global Top 10 Destination Cities
|2017 International Overnight Visitors||Growth Forecast for 2018||Average Length of Stay||Average Spend Per Day|
|Bangkok||20.05 million||9.6%||4.7 nights||$173|
|London||19.83 million||3.0%||5.8 nights||$153|
|Paris||17.44 million||2.9%||2.5 nights||$301|
|Dubai||15.79 million||5.5%||3.5 nights||$537|
|Singapore||13.91 million||4.0%||4.3 nights||$286|
|New York||13.13 million||4.1%||8.3 nights||$147|
|Kuala Lumpur||12.58 million||7.5%||5.5 nights||$124|
|Tokyo||11.93 million||1.6%||6.5 nights||$154|
|Istanbul||10.70 million||19.7%||5.8 nights||$108|
|Seoul||9.54 million||6.1%||4.2 nights||$181|
Dubai saw by far the highest average spend per day of $537 last year, totalling $29.7bn, with a forecast growth rate of 7.8 per cent for 2018.
This compared to a spend of $135 in Makkah for a total of $18.45bn and $153 spend in London for a total of $17.45bn.
Top Cities by Dollars Spent
|2017 International Overnight Visitor Spend (USD)||Forecast for 2018||Average Spend by Day|
|New York||$16.10 billion||4.1%||$147|
|Palma de Mallorca||$11.96 billion||16.2%||$220|
“With its dynamic range of tourism, leisure, lifestyle, hospitality and business offerings, the emirate continues to attract visitors from across the globe,” said Mastercard general manager for the UAE and Oman Girish Nanda.
“Renowned for global firsts and world records, Dubai has never shied away from evolving, and has transformed itself into one of the world’s most prolific tourism and investment hubs.”
In the wider ranking, Abu Dhabi stood as the fastest growing city in the Middle East and Africa for overnight visitors with 18.21 per cent annual growth between 2009 and 2017.
Dubai is aiming to attract 20 million tourists by 2020, the same year it will host the World Expo.
Tourist arrivals were almost flat in the first half after growing 0.5 per cent to 8.10 million.