Dubai welcomed a total of 16.73 million tourists last year, an increase of 5.1 percent over the previous year (15.92 million), which represents another visitor record. However, there is still a big leap to be made towards the declared goal for the current year.
Dubai authorities expect to welcome a total of 20 million tourists this year. The world-known Expo 2020 will take place in Dubai opening on October 20, 2020.
The increase in tourist numbers was caused primarily by the Chinese, Russian and Omani visitors. The largest group of travelers were the Indian tourist with almost 2 million people, although this was a slight drop compared to 2018.
The second-largest group of visitors was the Saudis, with 1.6 million tourists, followed by the UK travelers with 1.2 million tourists, and in fourth place visitors from Oman – with 24 percent more travelers – the Omanis managed to record more than one million visitors.
As in other destinations, local businesses are concerned about the further development regarding the Chinese source market. The number of Chinese visitors grew by 15.5 percent to 989,000 last year, but the current coronavirus crisis could lead to significant declines if the situation does not normalize soon.