Dubai has retained its position as the fourth most visited city in the world
Dubai has retained its position as the fourth most visited city in the world for the fifth year in a row, according to Mastercard’s Global Destination Cities Index (GDCI) 2019.
The city welcomed 15.93 million international overnight visitors last year and the city is expected to continue building on its success in 2019.
The UAE’s capital, Abu Dhabi, was ranked as the fastest growing city in the Middle East and Africa, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.7 percent between 2009 and 2018 in overnight arrivals.
When looking at the cities by dollar spent, Dubai topped the list with travellers spending more than $30 billion at $553 on average a day. Makkah, new to the top 10 last year, remained in second place ($20 billion and $135 per day), with Bangkok rounding out the top three.
“As the most attractive destination in the Middle East and Africa region for international visitors, Dubai connects people from all over the world with a diverse range of offerings for leisure and business travelers alike,” said Girish Nanda, general manager, UAE & Oman, Mastercard.
Sanjive Khosla, chief commercial officer, Expo 2020 Dubai, said: “Dubai continues to flourish as a world-class destination for both leisure and business travellers... The impressive visitor numbers are set to increase even further next year, as we welcome 192 nations for a once-in-a-lifetime celebration at Expo 2020 Dubai.”
This year, the Global Destination Cities Index —which ranks 200 cities based on proprietary analysis of publicly available visitor volume and spend data — revealed that Bangkok remains the world's top destination, with more than 22 million international overnight visitors.
Paris and London, in flipped positions this year, were second and third, both hovering over 19 million while all top ten cities saw more international overnight visitors in 2018 than the prior year, with the exception of London, which decreased nearly 4 percent.
The forecast for 2019 indicates across-the-board growth, with Tokyo expecting the largest uptick in visitors.