The United Arab Emirates (UAE) Dubai welcomed a record of 8.10 million international overnight tourists during the first six months of 2018, state news agency WAM reported.
The number of tourists was up from 8.06 million from the previous year, the government-controlled Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, or Dubai Tourism said.
Dubai Tourism’s figure showed that top sources of visits in the first six months of this year were India, Saudi Arabia and Britain, same as last year.
India was the top source market as visitors from the subcontinental country crossed the 1-million-mark over a six-month period, up by three percent year-on-year.
China ended the first half of 2018 in fourth place, continuing its upward trajectory by 9 percent to deliver 453,000 tourists, said Dubai Tourism.
Russia topped the growth charts with a whopping 74 percent year-on-year increase, as 405,000 Russians flocked to the UAE in the first half of 2018.
Both Chinese and Russian citizens continued to benefit from the added ease of travel access following the introduction of visa-on-arrival facilities in late 2016 and early 2017 respectively.
The United States and Germany stood at seventh and eighth positions with 327,000 and 302,000 visitors respectively.
Spread across a total of 700 establishments, Dubai’s hotel room inventory stood at 111,317 at the end of June 2018, up seven percent compared with the same period last year.
Occupied room nights were likewise only slightly up year on year with a total of 14.97 million compared to 14.53 million during the same period in 2017.
By 2020 and 2021, Dubai aims at reaching 25 million visitors as the emirate will host the World Expo 2020 from October 2020 until April 2021 as the first Arab metropolis.