Dubai has increased its tourism appeal to become the sixth most visited destination in the world, according to a new list produced by Euromonitor International.
Its Top 100 City Destinations Ranking 2017, announced at World Travel Market in London, also ranked the Saudi holy city of Makkah in the top 20.
Dubai was the only Middle East city in the top 10 and with 14.9 million visitors was positioned ahead of Paris and New York. Other Gulf cities included in the top 100 included Makkah (19), Riyadh (41), Doha (64) and Abu Dhabi (99).
Globally, the list was topped by Hong Kong, which attracted 26.6 million visitors, followed by Bangkok, London, Singapore and Macau. According to the report, Asian cities dominated the global destination rankings thanks to the unstoppable rise of Chinese outbound tourism demand.
Wouter Geerts, senior travel analyst at Euromonitor International, said: “Asia Pacific is the standout region driving change in travel. We expect the region to continue growing in the coming decade with Singapore overtaking London as the third most visited city in the world by 2025, giving the podium fully to Asia.”
On the contrary, the performance of European cities has been hampered by the Eurozone and migrants’ crisis, as well as Brexit and terrorist attacks. Despite the uncertainty, some European destinations, in particular Greece, Italy and Spain, have profited from unrest in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).
The report said performance in the MENA region has fluctuated greatly in recent years but Euromonitor forecast data shows a recovery for the region in 2017 and beyond.
“Dubai seems insulated from all the turmoil that is going on around it. The city’s tourism industry is booming,” Euromonitor said.
On Tuesday, Dubai said it is on track for another record year in terms of tourist volumes, according to the latest data released by Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism).
A total of 11.58 million international overnight visitors arrived in Dubai during the first nine months of 2017, up 7.5 percent over the same period last year.