Chinese Tourism to Dubai Soars in 2024

Chinese Tourism to Dubai Soars in 2024

The Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism (DET) recently reported a notable increase in Chinese tourists visiting the city. During a roadshow in Shanghai last week, DET revealed that Dubai welcomed 620,000 overnight visitors from China in 2023. The first four months of 2024 saw almost 290,000 Chinese overnight visitors, marking a 101 percent increase compared to the same period last year.

Saud Hareb Al Mheiri, assistant manager of DET, highlighted China's importance as a major source market for Dubai's tourism. He expressed optimism about surpassing last year's visitor numbers, noting that Dubai's popularity among Chinese tourists continues to grow. Since 2016, the United Arab Emirates has been granting visas on arrival to Chinese visitors. In 2017, the UAE saw over 764,000 Chinese tourists, a 41 percent year-on-year increase.

Qiu Weining, senior manager of international operations at DET, emphasized Dubai's tourism successes, noting the city peaked in 2019 with 16.7 million international tourists, which rose to 17.1 million in 2023.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, China was Dubai's fifth-largest tourist source market. Following China's reopening of its borders, Dubai maintained its visa-free policy and introduced other measures to attract more Chinese visitors.

The roadshow, held in Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, and Guangzhou from June 17 to June 24, aimed to promote Dubai's tourism development. It attracted 22 travel industry suppliers from Dubai, including airlines, hotels, attractions, shopping malls, and destination management companies.

Al Mheiri underscored the significance of the Chinese outbound tourism market for Dubai, stating that Chinese visitors have shown a strong affinity for the city. He emphasized DET's commitment to engaging with Chinese tourism professionals and showcasing Dubai's diverse offerings through roadshows and other strategic efforts.

Looking ahead, DET has launched the "China Ready" strategy, continuously refining measures to meet the needs of Chinese tourists. With direct flights from 14 Chinese cities and widespread acceptance of Alipay and WeChat in Dubai, the city is well-prepared to accommodate Chinese visitors seamlessly.

"Recently, Alipay has been rolled out for tax refunds in Dubai, a service already available via WeChat. Both platforms are also accepted on transportation services such as metros and taxis,"

Qiu said.

To enhance engagement with Chinese consumers, DET is intensifying marketing campaigns in China, collaborating with social platforms like Xiaohongshu (Little Red Book) and Douyin, and partnering with podcast platforms such as Xiaoyuzhou and Ximalaya.

"Several attractions are also waiting for tourists to experience and explore, including Inside Burj Al Arab, Arte Museum in Dubai Mall, China Town in Dubai Mall, and Real Madrid World,"

Qiu added.

News Source: China Daily Information Company

Maryam Pervez

Written by Maryam Pervez

Maryam is the Managing Editor at HiDubai, bringing 8+ years of expertise in marketing, social media, and content development. She holds a Master's degree in Marketing Comms from Middlesex University.
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