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Tourist inflow to Dubai eclipses pre-pandemic levels

Dubai tourist WAM
Western Europe emerged as a significant contributor to tourism arrivals in Dubai in the first half, making up 20 percent of the total tourist inflow
  • Dubai hotels outperformed occupancy expectations
  • Western Europe significant contributor to tourist levels

Dubai received 8.55 million global tourist travellers between January and June 2023, recording a 20 percent year-on-year growth.

The emirate exceeded the pre-pandemic figure of 8.36 million tourists in H1 2019, the state-run Dubai Media Office reported, citing data from the Department of Economy and Tourism.

“The surge in international visitors witnessed by Dubai in the first half of 2023 demonstrates its emergence as one of the brightest spots not only in the worldwide tourism sector but also the broader global economic landscape,” said Dubai Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed.

Dubai hotels outperformed all pre-pandemic metrics in occupancy, average daily rate (ADR), revenue per available room (RevPAR), occupied room nights and guests’ length of stay.

Average occupancy stood at 78 percent despite the 13 percent increase in hotel establishments and 26 percent growth in room capacity over the same period in 2019. 

Continued domestic and international investment into the sector further increased the hotel inventory. Dubai was home to 810 hotels by the end of H1 2023, with 148,689 rooms, compared to 714 hotels with 118,345 rooms at the end of H1 2019. 

The average length of stay of guests rose to 3.9 nights, up from 3.5 nights in H1 2019. While the 20.73 million occupied room nights represented growth of 12 percent year on year and a 32 percent increase compared to the pre-pandemic period of H1 2019. 

ADR stood at AED534 during the first six months of 2023, rising 20 percent from AED444 in H1 2019. RevPAR reached AED415 over the period.

Western Europe emerged as a significant contributor to tourist arrivals in the first half, making up 20 percent of the total tourist inflow. The GCC and Mena regions delivered a combined 28 percent of the regional share. 

South Asia held a 17 percent share of the total visitation, and Russia, CIS and Eastern Europe combined contributed 14 percent. 

North Asia and South East Asia contributed 8 percent, while the Americas, Africa and Australasia contributed 7 percent, 4 percent and 2 percent, respectively.