Dubai is on course to set a new record for international visitors in 2019 after seeing the number of hotel guests rise by nearly 4% during the first eight months of the year.
The emirate welcomed 10.85 million international guests between January and August – an increase from 10.44 million during the same period in 2018.
The rise in guests means Dubai is still on course to break last year’s record of 15.92 million visitors as it bids to meet its target of 20 million visitors in 2020.
India continues to be Dubai’s largest inbound source market with 1.24 million guests during the first eight months of 2019, although this was a drop of 6% year-on-year.
Over the same period, Saudi Arabia was the second-largest market with 1.13 million guests, followed by the UK with 759,000 visitors to Dubai, well ahead of other leading European markets including Russia (407,000 guests) and Germany (360,000).
Shahab Shayan, senior manager, UK and Ireland international operations at Dubai Tourism, said: “This year has seen some exciting hotels and developments open as well as a host of consumer events including Dubai Food Festival and the third edition of Dubai Fitness Challenge.
“Marketing plans for 2020 will be showcasing Dubai as always being ‘in season’, as well as highlighting activities and events taking place throughout 2020.”
Dubai’s ambitions to top the 20 million visitors mark will be helped by the boost of hosting Expo 2020 from October 2020 to April 2021, which is expected to attract up to five million visitors.
Hotel development also continues apace with more than 170 new properties due to be added to Dubai’s current tally of 712 hotels and 119,000 rooms.