Dubai hosts 4.67 million overnight visitors in Q1 of 2023, and moves closer to becoming the world’s top international tourist destination


Dubai Tourism Industry’s 17% YoY Growth in Q1 2023

Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism (DET) has reported that the city welcomed 4.67 million international overnight visitors in Q1 2023, an increase of 17% YoY. This figure sets Dubai firmly on track to become the world’s most visited international destination, especially as it exceeded the United Nations World Trade Organisation’s projection of 80-95% of pre-pandemic levels. Moreover, this growth contributes to the goal of the Dubai Economic Agenda D33 launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, to consolidate Dubai’s status as one of the world’s top three cities.

Dubai’s Fast Recovery

Dubai has emerged as the fastest recovering destination globally, achieving 98% of pre-pandemic levels in Q1 2023, according to the latest industry results. Dubai’s performance also capped an exceptional first quarter for the city, where it was again crowned as the No.1 global destination in Tripadvisor Travelers’ Choice Awards 2023, the second time the city has won the award for two years in a row.

Comments from Officials

Dubai’s Crown Prince, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, praised Dubai’s emergence as a leading global destination for the rebound of the tourism industry. He attributed the success to the far-reaching vision of the city’s leadership to transform Dubai into one of the world’s fastest-growing metropolises, and the globe’s pre-eminent hub for travel, talent, entrepreneurship, and investment.

Dubai’s Director General, His Excellency Helal Saeed Almarri, remarked that Q1 2023 set the city on a very strong trajectory for the year, driving it closer towards realizing the vision of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. To maintain Dubai’s global appeal, he said that the city would continue to follow a multi-pronged blueprint that largely contributed to its success in 2022, including evolving the destination promise, a multi-geographic approach to markets, hosting international MICE, business, and leisure events, and further improving stakeholder relationships.

Dubai’s Tourism Source Markets

Dubai’s traditional source markets delivered solid tourism volumes during the first quarter of the year, with GCC and MENA combined as the top regions, accounting for 29% of total volumes. Western Europe accounted for 22%, followed by South Asia (16%), CIS and Eastern Europe (15%), Americas (7%), North Asia, and South East Asia (6%), Africa (4%), and Australasia (1%).

Dubai’s progress in Q1 2023 is significant as it is just two percentage points short of the pre-pandemic volume of 4.75 million tourists that arrived in Dubai in the first quarter of 2019. This is an achievement for the city since it turned the tide in July 2020 by reopening the city to international tourists, in spite of the current global economic headwinds.

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