Mastercard’s Global Destination Cities Index (GDCI) 2018 has revealed that Dubai is the fourth most visited city in the world for the fourth year running.
The city had 15.79 million overnight visitors last year and a projected growth rate of 5.5%.
Dubai was also the city with the highest international overnight visitor spend for the third year in a row. Total international visitor spending was $29.70 billion in 2017.
Abu Dhabi is the fastest growing city in the Middle East and Africa. The city had a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 18.21% between 2009 and 2017 in overnight visitor arrivals.
“Dynamic range of tourism”
Girish Nanda, General Manager for UAE & Oman at Mastercard, said: “Reaffirming its standing as a destination of choice for global travelers, Dubai has once again secured top rankings in Mastercard’s annual Global Destinations Cities Index. With its dynamic range of tourism, leisure, lifestyle, hospitality and business offerings, the emirate continues to attract visitors from across the globe. Renowned for global firsts and world records, Dubai has never shied away from evolving, and has transformed itself into one of the world’s most prolific tourism and investment hubs. The index offers research and insights into global spending and travel patterns, helping cities to innovate and improve their offerings and enrich the lives of residents and visitors alike.”
Issam Kazim, CEO of the Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DCTCM) said: “The Mastercard Global Destination Cities Index 2018 confirms Dubai’s retained position as fourth most visited city in the world, cementing the success of joint initiatives we have been working on over the last 12 months in partnership with both government departments and the private sector. With a focus on highlighting the depth of Dubai’s offering, encouraging visitors to look beyond the city’s iconic landmarks Dubai has continued to be a must-visit and must-return destination. New attractions and experiences have contributed to this success – from culture and the arts to history and heritage as well as updates to attractions. The retail sector is also further enhancing its offering, presenting visitors with the opportunity to experience an ever-evolving array of shopping districts, activities and offers.”
The GDCI expanded this year to look at 162 cities. The index is based on visitor volume and spend for the 2017 calendar year.
The full findings are online at Mastercard’s website.