Dubai's tourism industry is rapidly gaining momentum as it aims to
become the leading international destination for travellers worldwide.
In an impressive first quarter performance of 2023, Dubai welcomed 4.67
million international overnight visitors, reflecting a 17% year-on-year
growth. This surge has set Dubai on its course on claiming the title of
the most visited international destination.
A remarkable Q1 performance
The recent data released by Dubai's Department of Economy and Tourism
(DET) aligns with the objectives set forth in the Dubai Economic Agenda
D33, an ambitious initiative launched by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al
Maktoum, vice president and prime minister of the UAE and ruler of
Dubai. The agenda aims to position Dubai among the world's top three
Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the crown prince of
Dubai and chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, hailed this
extraordinary achievement. He emphasised the city's pivotal role in
leading the rebound of the global tourism sector, adding that “
the tourism sector is not only the strongest pillars of our economy but
also a key enabler of Dubai’s distinctive role in the world as a bridge
between markets, cultures and regions.”
Fastest recovering destination worldwide
The latest industry results, unveiled during Arabian Travel Market
2023, showed that Dubai is the fastest recovering destination worldwide.
In Q1 2023, the city achieved 98% of pre-pandemic levels, exceeding the
projections made by the United Nations World Trade Organization (UNTO).
This recovery has been predominantly witnessed in Europe and the Middle
Dubai's hotel sector has also experienced a surge in performance. The
average occupancy rate for Dubai's hotels during Q1 2023 reached 83%,
standing on par with the pre-pandemic occupancy rate of 84% recorded in
Q1 2019. These figures are even more noteworthy considering the
significant increase in room capacity since 2019.
Diverse source markets fuelling growth
The diverse source markets have played a pivotal role in driving
Dubai's tourism growth. With the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and
Middle East and North Africa (MENA) regions contributing 29% of total
volumes, Dubai continues to attract visitors from neighbouring markets.
Western Europe, South Asia, Eastern Europe, the Americas, North Asia,
Southeast Asia, Africa, and Australasia have also significantly
contributed to the impressive visitor numbers.
Commitment to sustainability and tourism development
Dubai's Department of Economy and Tourism (DET) aims to further
enhance the city's tourism industry by focusing on exploring
non-traditional avenues, promoting sustainability, gastronomy, trade,
Dubai's Sustainable Tourism initiative has become a crucial aspect of
its development strategy, aiming to position the city as a leading
Leveraging international events and initiatives
Dubai is also leveraging international events to boost its visibility
and appeal, having hosted a plethora of world-class events in Q1 2023,
including the Dubai Shopping Festival, Art Dubai, Emirates Airline
Festival of Literature, and the Dubai World Cup.
Moreover, Dubai's commitment to reforms and regulatory enablers has
opened up new growth pathways. Initiatives such as the Golden Visa,
Multi-Entry Visa, and Virtual Working programmes have enhanced the
city's liveability, attracting global talent, entrepreneurs, innovators,
and investors. Furthermore, Dubai's investment in infrastructure and
support systems has made it an attractive destination for startups and
A promising future
Dubai's rapid progress towards becoming a prominent international
tourist destination is driven by the Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan, which
aims to expand tourism attractions and investment opportunities, and
its focus on ecotourism, food tourism, wellness tourism, and sports
Dubai is dedicated to providing exceptional experiences to global
travellers, collaborating with stakeholders and partners to develop
innovative tourism products. By remaining competitive in the global
tourism landscape, Dubai aims to maintain its position as a compelling
With a strong performance in the first quarter, Dubai is
well-positioned to solidify its status as a desirable location, offering
a range of remarkable experiences and establishing itself as a
prominent global city.