In a boost for Dubai tourism, With post-COVID tourism picking up in the UAE, Dubai International Airport was recently named the world’s busiest international airport in May 2021.
With nearly 1.9 million scheduled seats, the airport emerged at the top of rankings by aviation intelligence firm OAG, based on scheduled capacity as compared to 2019. The city also featured in the top 10 busiest international routes.
The rankings are a positive sign for Dubai tourism, which expects to rebound by 2022.
AFTERMATH OF THE PANDEMIC
Tourism was one of the worst affected sectors worldwide due to the pandemic. At the same time, Dubai tourism was the only tourism sector to register a positive year-on-year growth at a muted 0.3%, against the backdrop of a global average decline in international tourism by 74%.
This was a result of immediate healthcare response, prevention efforts, and mass vaccination programs, the government said.
By Q1 this year, Dubai tourism welcomed 1.67 million international guests, with India and Russia being the top two source markets for tourists. Other countries include France, the US, and Pakistan.
While revenue per available room and average daily rates dropped as compared to 2020 levels, occupied room nights grew by over one million, and guests' average length of stay extended by one whole night in Q1. Average occupancy, at 63%, closely beat 2020 levels of 62%.
DUBAI TOURISM GETS A POST PANDEMIC LIFT
Dubai tourism has received a boost amidst a slew of government initiatives and fresh regulations to bolster the sector during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Safety initiatives, such as free RT-PCR testing for all incoming passengers at the Dubai International Airport, vaccination drives for Chinese nationals visiting the country, ‘Safe Travels’ stamps, and remote working visas for tourists, have done well to promote Dubai tourism as a safe and attractive tourist destination.
In January this year, the UAE announced the formation of the Emirates Tourism Council to bolster the country’s tourism portfolio. The Dubai government is also looking to market the city as a “multi-faceted must-visit family destination” in Summer 2021, the government said.
Further, the city is banking on sustainable tourism to propel Dubai tourism forward in the long term. Dubai expects to increase land area covered by hotels and tourism activities by 134%, public beaches by 400%, and green spaces by 60% through its Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan. Other sustainable tourism initiatives include ‘Get Into The Green Scene’ launched by Dubai Sustainable Tourism to promote the city’s sustainable attractions.
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