DUBAI: Dubai has retained its crown as the most visited city in the Middle East and landed sixth in the world in the latest global ranking of tourist destinations. Euromonitor International unveiled on Tuesday the Top 100 City Destinations Ranking for 2017 and the latest report shows there are now more tourists visiting Dubai than many other places on earth. Dubai has moved one place up, from the seventh to the sixth position, edging out tourist hotspots like Paris, New York, Rome and Tokyo.
It is the only Middle Eastern city in the top ten and is expected to attract more than 26 million visitors by 2025, overtaking London, which is currently in the third place. Overall, Hong Kong held on to its title of the most visited city in the world for the eighth consecutive year, followed by Bangkok.
The top ten most visited cities in the world are:
- Hong Kong: 26.6 million visitors
- Bangkok: 21.2 million visitors
- London: 19.2 million visitors
- Singapore: 16.6 million visitors
- Macau: 15.4 million visitors
- Dubai: 14.9 million visitors
- Paris: 14.4 million visitors
- New York: 12.7 million visitors
- Shenzhen: 12.6 million visitors
- Kuala Lumpur: 12.3 million visitors
According to Euromonitor’s data, the number of tourists visiting Dubai has jumped by 11.2 per cent, from 14.9 million in 2016 to more than 16.5 million in 2017, making it a far more popular destination of choice for travellers compared to most cities on earth. “Dubai seems insulated from all the turmoil that is going on around it. The city’s tourism industry is booming,” Euromonitor said.
This year, Dubai is regarded as the most sought-after destination for business travellers, or for meetings, incentives, conferencing and exhibitions (MICE) due to its modern infrastructure and premium lodging landscape.
“Dubai’s focus on developing world-class theme parks across adventure and entertainment, such as Legoland and Motiongate, are driving demand in the family holiday segment,” she added.
“The dominance of four to five-star lodging discourages aspiring tourists from developing countries but expansion of mid-market options and Airbnb helps bridge the gap thereby sourcing more tourists.”
Dubai is by far the largest and fastest-growing destination in the Middle East and Africa, but Saudi Arabia has three cities in the top ranking.
“The hajj is a major draw for arrivals to the country, but the kingdom is looking to ensure it is not just Mecca that benefits,” Euromonitor said. “While Dubai is booming, many cities are dealing with turmoil.”