Dubai's Department of Economy and Tourism Records 11% Surge in Tourist Arrivals for Q1 2024

Dubai's Department of Economy and Tourism Records 11% Surge in Tourist Arrivals for Q1 2024

Dubai welcomed 5.18 million international overnight visitors from January to March 2024, an 11% rise over the 4.67 million tourist arrivals during the same period in 2023, according to data published by Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism (DET) at the 31st edition of Arabian Travel Market (ATM).

Following a record-breaking year in 2023, with Dubai welcoming 17.15 million international overnight visitors, the city's tourism industry continues to thrive in the first quarter of 2024. This growth reflects the visionary leadership of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and aligns with the ambitious goals of the Dubai Economic Agenda, D33, to solidify Dubai's position as a global hub for business and leisure. His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, expressed confidence in Dubai's tourism sector, expecting another exceptional performance this year. He highlighted the importance of aligning with Sheikh Mohammed's vision and the objectives of D33 to ensure sustained growth and prominence in the global tourism landscape.

Visionary leadership

His Highness emphasized Dubai's success as a tourist destination, attributing it to the visionary leadership of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid. He praised the effective promotion efforts and the continuous investment in world-class infrastructure, emphasizing the goal of becoming the smartest, most advanced, and most agile city. Sheikh Hamdan commended the Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism (DET) for promoting the emirate globally and providing a distinguished experience for visitors. He highlighted the importance of public-private sector cooperation in maintaining Dubai's lead in global tourism.

Sheikh Hamdan stressed the importance of tourist satisfaction, aiming for each visitor to become an ambassador for Dubai. He reaffirmed Dubai's commitment to enhancing the tourism sector and diversifying options to exceed visitor expectations. Dubai's exceptional performance, including being named the No.1 global destination for the third consecutive year, underscores its global recognition.

Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General of DET, attributed Dubai's record-breaking visitation to its commitment to long-term goals outlined in the D33 Agenda. He highlighted the tourism sector's pivotal role in Dubai's positive growth trajectory, driven by international businesses, a healthy MICE sector, and an influx of new talent.

Issam Kazim, CEO of DCTCM, reiterated Dubai's commitment to elevating standards and expanding its tourism offering. He emphasized strong global campaigns, collaboration with stakeholders, and diversified marketing approaches to promote Dubai worldwide. Kazim recognized the contribution of partners in delivering the highest levels of service, making Dubai the best city to visit, live, and work in.

Key source markets

Dubai's diversified approach to tourism, tailored to over 80 markets, has solidified its position as a top travel destination. In the first quarter, Western Europe emerged as the largest source market, contributing 1.138 million arrivals, followed by South Asia with 869,000 visitors, and CIS and Eastern Europe with 817,000 arrivals. The GCC and MENA regions followed closely, with 664,000 and 605,000 arrivals, respectively. North-East Asia and South-East Asia combined contributed 470,000 arrivals, while the Americas accounted for 344,000 visitors. Africa saw 202,000 arrivals, and Australasia contributed 70,000 arrivals to Dubai's tourism sector.

Hotels and hospitality

Dubai's hotel sector maintained an 83% occupancy rate from January to March 2024, despite a 2% increase in room supply to over 152,000. Occupied room nights rose by 2% to 11.2 million compared to 2023. Average Daily Rate increased by 5% to AED638, while Revenue Per Available Room rose 4% to AED527. This indicates hoteliers are maintaining competitive pricing. Dubai had 96,484 rooms in five-star and four-star hotels, with a 64% share. One- to three-star hotels comprised 19% of the market with 29,100 rooms and an 82% occupancy rate. Hotel apartments had 26,578 keys with an 84-85% occupancy rate.

Sustainability initiatives

Dubai's commitment to sustainability extends into 2024 with the 'Year of Sustainability'. The tourism and hospitality sectors lead this effort with ecotourism initiatives like Dubai Can. The 'Refill for Life' campaign reduces plastic waste by promoting reusable bottles and installing water fountains, saving over 18 million single-use bottles since its launch. Another initiative, Dubai Reef, aims to boost marine biodiversity with the world's largest marine reef development project. Recently inaugurated by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, the pilot reef modules mark a significant milestone in this endeavor.

Entrepreneurship spur

DET is diversifying Dubai's growth beyond conventional tourism by focusing on investment, entrepreneurship, and global talent attraction. The Dubai College of Tourism (DCT), under DET, offers vocational training and educational programs to cultivate a skilled workforce for the tourism sector. Additionally, Dubai supports entrepreneurs and SMEs through platforms like Dubai SME, providing financial support and mentorship, and Intelak Hub, the region's sole startup platform dedicated to travel, tourism, and aviation sectors. These initiatives aim to foster innovation and sustainable growth in Dubai's economy.

Global leisure hub

Dubai's culinary scene continues to flourish, with 18 local restaurants featured in the 2024 MENA's 50 Best Restaurants list, reaffirming its status as a global culinary capital. The city's cruise sector is also thriving, as seen with the establishment of the Cruise Arabia alliance, aimed at promoting the Arabian Gulf as a premier cruise destination and enhancing the cruise experience. Moreover, Dubai's reputation as an entertainment hub is further solidified by new attractions like Real Madrid World, the first theme park operating under the football club's branding, and the city's year-round calendar of events, including the ongoing Dubai Food Festival. These developments align with Dubai's tourism strategy and support its economic growth objectives.

News Source: Dubai Media Office

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