Dubai welcomed 7.28 million travelers throughout 2021. This represents a growth in visits of 32% year-on-year. It also makes the city one of the most sought-after destinations, as its demand for rooms exceeds that of London, Paris and Oslo combined. For all that, Dubai is already a world leader in tourism recovery.
The latest data released by the Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism (DET) confirms these high figures. If we add to the equation that its hotel occupancy over the past year has reached 67%, we find ourselves in front of a key locality, since it has one of the highest figures internationally.
It should also not be forgotten that Dubai was chosen as the most popular destination in the world in Tripadvisor’s Travelers’ Choice 2022. In other words, looking at what’s happening in this capital can help us understand where the future of the sector might be headed.
In the fourth quarter of 2021, international footfall in the city exceeded 3.4 million tourists. They thus reached 74% of the total arrivals recorded over the same period of 2019. In other words, the recovery is well under way.
According to the figures, the way has been paved for hotels in Dubai to have a unique performance, which has surpassed pre-pandemic levels. This reinforces the emirate’s tendency to achieve sustained growth that enables it to achieve its goal of being the most visited enclave in the world.
Based on the forecasts, they hope to maintain the positive trend throughout this year 2022, but also the following years. The volume of accumulated travelers demonstrates the resilience and resurgence of the travel industry in this region. Likewise, he reiterates that tourism is one of the main drivers of economic growth.
The inauguration of Expo 2020 on October 1, 2021 marked the beginning of a new and incredible milestone for the city’s tourism industry. Thanks to this, it has become the first global face-to-face event of such magnitude since the start of the pandemic and a magnet for visitors, as 11.6 million people have arrived during these four month.
They also opened new tourist attractions, such as attractions, destinations, festivals and events such as Ain Dubai, Deep Dive Dubai, Hatta Dome Park, The View at The Palm, Dubai Summer Surprises and Dubai Fitness Challenge. They combine a wide offer that goes from culture to gastronomy, through shopping, family tourism or seaside tourism. The objective is to increase travel to the city, whether for leisure or business.
“The success of Dubai in 2021 is a testament to the carefully crafted strategy and measures that were put in place from the start to countering and managing the pandemicexplained HE Helal Saeed Al Marri, Director General of the City’s Department of Economy and Tourism.
“Meticulously following the highest health and safety standards, backed by the diligence and cooperation of all stakeholders. Dubai was able to build the trust of residents […] and tourists from all over the world consider the city to be one of the safest in the world,” he said.
For this reason, they hope that this trend will accelerate throughout 2022 to continue to attract “not only tourists, but also investors, business people and innovators” to the destination, who can “benefit and take advantage” of all that the multifaceted city has to offer. .
In addition, it is one of the most vaccinated countries in the world today, since has more than 94% of the population vaccinated. Thanks to this, the United Arab Emirates reached the first place in the world in the Bloomberg Covid Resilience Ranking in January 2022.
Dubai hotels triumph
In the case of lodging, there is no doubt that hotels had a strong performance in the fourth quarter. In this way they got exceed pre-pandemic levels. This includes over 81.4% occupancy compared to 80.7% occupancy during the fourth quarter of 2019.
As mentioned, the average occupancy rate reached 67%, a very interesting figure especially compared to 54% in 2020. In addition, customers spent more time in hotels, since the average stay was of 4.6 nights, significantly more than the average of 4.2 in 2020.
In addition, the supply of establishments has also expanded, going from 711 hotels in 2020 to 755 in 2021, i.e. a total of 137,950 rooms available. However, according to STR, the total number of rooms sold in Dubai in 2021 represents almost 1% of all rooms sold worldwide. Not only that, since its total demand is equal to that of London, Paris and Oslo added.
Markets with diverse origins
The high volume of travelers indicates that the city is very attractive on several levels. Once the impact of international travel restrictions on major global markets was overcome, it once again became the safe first option. Markets that were open brought tourists from a wide variety of backgrounds.
India was the original market par excellence, bringing in 910,000 visitors (5.3% over one year). It was followed by 491,000 travelers from Saudi Arabia (+22.8% over one year), 44,000 (+50.3% over one year) from Russia and 420,000 visitors (+7.1% over one year ) from the United Kingdom. .
In addition, the boom in international visits has been fueled by strong tourist arrivals from regional markets. 26% of the total volume was contributed by local markets. Specifically, by the Middle East and North Africa and the Gulf Cooperation Council countries.
For its part, Western Europe accounted for 22% of total visitors in 2021, with visits led by the United Kingdom, followed by France, Germany, Italy and the -Low. The remaining percentage was split between Asia (18%) and Russia, CIS and Eastern Europe (15%).
a hopeful future
For now, it looks like the city is continuing to reap the rewards of the effective campaign of measures that were launched at the start of the pandemic to contain it and which have turned the destination into a one of the first in the world to close, then open and stay open.
With everything we’ve just seen, it seems like he has time left and still has a lot to offer. After having experienced a year 2021 full of hope, it remains to be seen what awaits us in 2022. In any case, for the moment Dubai has become a world reference in the recovery of tourism from which we have much to learn.
Courtesy images: Lucy M on Unsplash, paweldotio on Unsplash, Nick Fewings on Unsplash