Dubai Aims to Surpass 2019 Visitor Numbers During 2023

Publish Time:2023-05-25 16:51:17Source:Travel Weekly UK

【Introduction】:The UK is also the third most important market for the destination, behind India (612,000) and Russia (358,000).

Dubai has reported a total of 299,000 visitors from the UK in the first quarter of 2023 – up by 9 percent year on year – and 8 percent behind Q1 in 2019.

The UK is also the third most important market for the destination, behind India (612,000) and Russia (358,000).

Jameela Ahli (pictured), international operations head of region for the UK, Ireland, and Italy at Dubai Tourism, told Travel Weekly: "Our target is to reach above pre-pandemic levels in 2023.

"Looking at the Easter period, Dubai was the top destination for departures from Manchester airport – a positive sign coming from the UK market. We're catching up [on 2019].

"Our search numbers are very high from the UK market."

She said the travel trade is a key element of the destination's success and special offers and initiatives such as fam trips are part of the tourist board's ongoing strategy to boost summer numbers.

"Based on conversations from trade partners, a lot of the bookings are still last minute – but they are very confident that especially during the summer period the bookings will pick up," she said.

"Forward-looking numbers look healthy."

Incentives to boost summer bookings include a 'Kids Go Free' offer at many hotels and attractions, while another campaign aims to boost stopover breaks now that many long-haul destinations are fully open to tourists again.

Two fam trips for UK agents have been held recently, one featuring luxury and golf options while the other had a focus on summer breaks during Ramadan.

Two more fam trips, each with about 20 agents, are in the pipeline for the second half of 2023, Ahli added.

Commenting on the cost-of-living concerns, she said the UK market is "very resilient" and the destination's wide range of hotels means there is accommodation for different budgets.

She also highlighted the tourism board's sustainability message, especially because this year has been declared UAE's Year of Sustainability ahead of Cop28 in Dubai (November 30-December 12)

"We embed sustainability in the heart of our strategy and are making significant strides," she said, pointing to initiatives such as the turtle rehabilitation project at Jumeirah Al Naseem, and farm-to-table dining options in hotel restaurants.

Overall, Dubai welcomed 4.67 million overnight visitors in Q1 2023, 17 percent up year on year, and just two percentage points behind the pre-pandemic volume of 4.75 million tourists that arrived in Dubai in the first three months of 2019.

The city has seen a host of new hotel openings recently, most notably Atlantis The Royal, with more in the pipeline in 2023, including So/Uptown Dubai and The Lana, Dorchester Collection.

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