Dubai received 5.1 million tourists in the first four months of this year 2022, as the emirate continues its post-Covid-19 recovery. This increase is more than triple compared to the same period in 2021, when the emirate received 1.67 million visitors.
In the first quarter, the emirate welcomed 3.97 million international overnight visitors, an increase of 214 percent year-on-year, according to data from the Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism.
Hotel occupancy in the UAE stood at 76% during the period, according to data provided to the Emirates Herald. The emirate also ranked first globally in terms of hotel occupancy rates for the first three months of 2022, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, the crown prince of Dubai, said in a tweet last month.
Dubai, the tourist and commercial center of the Middle East, was one of the first destinations to reopen its doors to tourism in June 2020 after taking measures to curb the Covid-19 pandemic. The easing of pandemic restrictions around the world and the hosting of Expo 2020 Dubai led to a large increase in tourist arrivals this year.
Dubai International Airport, the world’s busiest in terms of international passenger traffic, also posted its strongest quarter since 2020 in the first three months. Passenger traffic more than doubled to 13.6 million travellers, from 5.7 million in the same quarter a year ago, Dubai Airports announced. In May, the airport operator also raised its annual passenger traffic forecast for 2022 to 58.3 million, from a previous projection of 57 million.
Strong growth in the sector has boosted business activity in the non-oil private sector economy to hit a 35-month high in May, according to the S&P Global Dubai Purchasing Managers’ Index.
Travel and tourism outperformed the wholesale and retail trade and construction sector in recent months, to a nearly three-year high in May, the Emirates Herald noted.
In the first four months of this year, Oman emerged as the largest source market, with 590,000 visitors arriving in the emirate, the bank said. “Before the pandemic in 2019, the Sultanate was in fifth place with 356,000.” India, the UK, Saudi Arabia and Russia accounted for the rest of the top five source markets during the period.
While the number of visitors to these destinations has been restored respectively, they remain below 2019 levels, the bank said, adding that China is still pursuing a zero-Covid strategy, and will continue to have an impact on China’s tourism sector. Dubai as long as restrictions continue. During the first four months of 2019, 369,000 people visited Dubai from China, making it the fourth largest source of visitors.