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Dubai records 28% increase in number of Nigerian visitors in H1

Dubai, a foremost tourism destination in the gulf region, has announced a 28-percent increase in the number of Nigerian visitors to the country in the first half of the year.

According to the latest data released by Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism), the city welcomed 8.36 million international overnight visitors in the first six months (January-June) of 2019, with Africa showing strong growth with 9 percent increase in terms of visitor numbers.

However, the impressive increase in the number of African visitors to Dubai, according to Dubai Tourism data, was bolstered by the 28 percent growth from Nigeria, which it described as one of the rapidly growing emerging markets in Africa.

With the record increase, Nigeria is now in Dubai’s top 20 international visitors’ bracket for the first time in 2019.

Explaining the reason for the swelling visitor numbers, Dubai Tourism noted that in the first six months of 2019, the city continued to focus on providing its residents and tourists a plethora of first-class entertainment offerings and attractions, including the opening of the Coca-Cola Arena, the region’s largest multipurpose indoor entertainment centre with a capacity to hold 17,000 visitors, and the Quranic Park, which spans over 60-hectares with two main attractions, The Glass House and The Cave of Miracles that offer holistic understanding of the city’s Islamic heritage, among others.

According to Helal Saeed Almarri, director general, Dubai Tourism, “Our first-half results are a particularly encouraging reflection of our progress towards this ambition and underline the effectiveness of our diversified market outreach with holistic ‘awareness to booking’ cycle content amplification and audience delivery, through a deeply networked ecosystem of global partners, industry stakeholders and government enablers.”

At the global level, India once again led the pack, drawing the highest half-year volumes with 997,000 visitors, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia emerged second largest feeder market with 755,000 visitors, while the UK was the top three traffic driver with 586,000 travellers beating all odds against a significantly devalued British Pound (vs. US Dollar), amidst growing political and economic turbulences surrounding Brexit.

As well, the United States made the seventh spot with 329,000 visitors, marginally up from 327,000 visitors in H1 2018.

The new figures reinforce the continued strength of Dubai’s tourism sector as a key driver of economic diversification and a reliable catalyst for GDP acceleration through 2020. The largest traffic generators and newer high-potential segments have set a strong preparatory pace to fuel Dubai’s climb to becoming the most visited global destination.

 

OBINNA EMELIKE

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