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Dubai ranked as 7th most popular destination

Dubai 7th most popular destination

In terms of inbound international visitors this year, the emirate outranks Rome, Barcelona and Hong Kong...

May 29, 2013 6:36 by

Dubai continues to climb the ranks as an international travel destination, according to MasterCard’s third annual Global Destination Cities Index, a report that ranks cities in terms of number of international visitor arrivals and cross-border spending.

The city is set to be the seventh most popular city globally in terms of inbound international visitors in 2013, outranking cities such as Hong Kong, Barcelona, Milan and Rome. At 10.9 percent, Dubai (along with Bangkok) shows the strongest growth in arrival numbers among the top ten global markets, with 9.89 million overnight visitors expected this year.

Dubai also ranks eighth globally by international overnight visitor spend, with an estimated $10.4 billion to be spent in the city during 2013. The Index indicates that if all top 10 destination cities maintain their current rates of growth in the next few years, Dubai will surpass Singapore and New York in 2016 and Paris in 2017 in terms of international visitor arrivals.

“While the Middle East and Africa’s top ten cities lineup is exactly the same as in 2012, there is a striking difference in how far Dubai is ahead of the other cities. Its international arrival number is almost twice that of Riyadh in second rank, and about four times as high as the third-ranked Johannesburg,” says Yuwa Hedrick-Wong, global economic advisor for MasterCard and the author of the report.

Among the Middle East and Africa’s top ten, Abu Dhabi (ranked seventh with 1.7 million visitors) showed the strongest growth rate, with an anticipated 16.1 percent increase in arrivals. The Index highlights that, if these rates are maintained in the coming years, Abu Dhabi will overtake Lagos in 2016 and match Johannesburg by 2017.

The UAE’s capital also ranked sixth among the global top 20 with regard to growth rates of international visitor arrivals between 2009 and 2013, with growth of 96.8 percent during this period.

Within the Middle East and Africa, Dubai ranks first by international overnight visitor spend, followed by Riyadh and Beirut.

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