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GCC to welcome 9.8 million Indian tourists by 2024 – report

GCC to welcome 9.8 million Indian tourists by 2024 – report

The UAE hosted 2.89 million Indian visitors in 2018, expected to grow to 5.29 million by 2024

Indian visitors travelling to the GCC are expected to increase to 9.8 million by 2024, marking an increase of 81 per cent from 5.4 million in 2018, a new report has found.

The UAE welcomed 2.89 million Indian tourists in 2018, with that number estimated to grow to 5.29 million by 2024, increasing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11 per cent, according to the report by Colliers International done in partnership with Arabian Travel Market (ATM).

Looking specifically at Dubai’s inbound tourist traffic, close to one million Indian visitors flocked to the emirate during the first half of 2019, the statement said.

Other GCC countries such as Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain and Kuwait are expected to post an increase of 10 per cent respectively in Indian tourists between 2018 and 2024.

“Driving this growth is a new generation of leisure attractions in the GCC, relaxed visa regulations for Indian nationals, additional airline routes, increasing business opportunities, a renewed focus on Indian weddings and the MICE segment as well as the increasing popularity of adventure and eco-tourism in countries including the UAE and Oman,” said Danielle Curtis, exhibition director ME, Arabian Travel Market.

Indian tourists are among the highest spenders worldwide while travelling abroad, with outbound travel and tourism expenditure expected to increase to $39.3bn in 2024 from $21.4bn in 2018, the statement added.

Indian travellers spent an average of approximately $1,100 per trip made to the GCC in 2018, according to Euromonitor International. Business and experience-seeking tourists were prone to spend at least 15 per cent more per trip.

Read: Indians top list of nationalities visiting Dubai

The UAE now grants visas on arrival – valid for a maximum of 14 days – to Indians who are either UK- or EU-residence visa holders, US green card holders or have US visit visas, provided that the passport and visa or green card is valid for at least six months from the date of arrival into the UAE, according to the UAE government’s official portal.

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