Dubai tops pre-Covid numbers with 8.55m visitors

Dubai's key tourism numbers topped the pre-Covid levels during the first half (H1) of 2023 with the UAE emirate reporting 8.55 million international visitors during the period, up 20% over H1 2022. 


The figures are up 2.3% on pre-Covid H1 2019 and show that Dubai’s tourism sector has fully recovered from the pandemic, Dubai's Department of Economy and Tourism data said.


About 28% of the visitors came from the GCC and MENA region, while 20% came from Western Europe, followed by South Asia (17% of the total). Russia, CIS, and Eastern Europe combined contributed 14 per cent. North Asia and South East Asia contributed 8 per cent, while the Americas, Africa and Australasia accounted for 7 per cent, 4 per cent and 2 per cent, respectively.


Hotels occupancy up

Dubai's hotels crossed pre-pandemic levels across all metrics in H1 2023 with the average hotel occupancy at 78 per cent, which is among highest in the world and 2.2 per cent higher than the occupancy achieved in H1 2019. Revenue per available room averaged $146 in January through June, similar to H1 2022, and 20% above H1 2019. The average length of stay increased to 3.9 nights (up from 3.5 nights in H1 2019).


By the end of H1 2023, Dubai offered a total of 810 hotel establishments and 148,689 rooms, compared to 714 hotel establishments that were open with 118,345 rooms at the end of H1 2019. 


The record H1 performance reaffirms Dubai’s position as the fastest recovering destination globally.


Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, said: “The remarkable surge in international visitors witnessed by Dubai in the first half of 2023 further demonstrates its emergence as one of the brightest spots not only in the worldwide tourism sector but also the broader global economic landscape. This accomplishment has been made possible by the foresight of Dubai’s leadership, whose vision and prudent polices fortified its resilience in the wake of global challenges and enabled it to rebound more swiftly than other markets. While the growth of international visitation reinforces Dubai’s rise as a major global tourism destination, it also signifies its status as a pivotal hub for trade, investment and enterprise.


“The Dubai Economic Agenda D33, spearheaded by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has outlined an ambitious new trajectory for the city to further consolidate its status as one of the world’s top urban economies and tourism destinations. As a major pillar of Dubai’s economy, the tourism sector will continue to play a key role in realising its future aspirations.”


Helal Saeed Almarri, director-general of the Department of Economy and Tourism, said: “These results further add weight to the depth, scale and resilience of Dubai’s tourism ecosystem, both domestically and across the world, all of which have been instrumental to supporting the city’s highly calibrated and agile strategy for advancing growth over the previous decade, mitigating risk and building a comprehensive framework throughout the entire value chain to drive our ambitions for the coming 10 years.”




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