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Dubai hits tourism milestone, welcomes over 7 million visitors in H1 2022

DUBAI — Dubai is on track to achieving its tourism goals for 2022, recording 7.12 million international visitors between January and June.

This marks more than 183% growth in visitors compared to the 2.52 million tourists who visited the destination during the same period in 2021, according to the latest data from Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism (DET). The number of tourists recorded in H1 2022 nearly reached the numbers achieved in the first six months of 2019, which saw 8.36 million.

“The growth in tourists reflects the resilience and dynamism of the emirate’s economy,” said His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai. “The rapid rise in international tourist arrivals puts Dubai on track to achieve its ambitious target of becoming the world’s most visited destination. In the years ahead, Dubai will continue to develop itself further as a destination that offers compelling value to international travellers.”


Western Europe accounted for a significant share of tourist arrivals, comprising 22% of total international visitors in the first six months of 2022. MENA and GCC collectively contributed 34% of international visitors, highlighting Dubai’s appeal to visitors from surrounding markets. These regions were followed closely by South Asia (16%) and Russia, CIS and Eastern Europe (11%) in H1 2022.


Average occupancy for the hotel sector between January and June 2022 stood at 74%, one of the world’s highest, compared to 62% in H1 2021, a difference of 12 percentage points and just short of the 76% occupancy level registered during the pre-pandemic period of H1 2019. This is particularly noteworthy as it was achieved in spite of a +19% increase in room capacity over the same period in 2019.

Dubai’s hotel inventory by the end of June 2022 comprised 140,778 rooms open at 773 hotel establishments, compared to 118,345 rooms available at the end of June 2019 across 714 establishments. Meanwhile, the total number of hotels in H1 2022 marked an 8% growth over H1 2021, highlighting strong investor confidence in Dubai’s tourism sector.


Dubai’s highly encouraging industry performance is primarily attributed to the hugely successful, six-month-long Expo 2020 Dubai, which attracted over 24 million visits by the time it concluded on March 31 this year. A host of festivals, leisure and business events also contributed to growth, including the Dubai Shopping Festival, Dubai Food Festival, Gulfood, Dubai World Cup, The World Government Summit, Binance Blockchain Week, Dubai Desert Classic, Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship, Dubai International Boat Show and the Arabian Travel Market.


Dubai continues to engage global audiences through international campaigns and in-market trade activities that highlight it as a destination of choice. This includes the ‘Dubai Presents’ campaign, which promotes the city’s attractions through a series of movie-style trailers featuring stars from both Hollywood and Bollywood. Marketing activities in key international markets have also been enhanced to showcase the destination, including the ‘Stay More, Pay Less’ summer campaign.

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