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UK visitors to Dubai growing by 10% per year

Dubai’s popularity as a destination for UK business and leisure travelers is growing at a healthy rate of 10 per cent per year thanks to a regularly evolving destination offer comprised of new hotels, meetings venues and leisure attractions.

Statistics released by Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) have revealed that the emirate welcomed 687,000 UK hotel guests in 2012, and a further 759,000 UK hotel guests in 2013, representing a 10 per cent year-on-year increase. In 2014, Dubai welcomed 845,000 UK hotel guests to its shores, an increase of 11 per cent compared to 2013. The tourism body also announced that it is expecting the steady influx to continue, and forecast that over 1 million visitors from the UK will travel to Dubai in 2016 should current growth rates persist.

Steen Jakobsen, Director of Dubai Business Events (DBE), a division of DTCM which acts as the city’s official convention bureau, said in comments on the DBE team’s participation at the 2015 edition of The Meetings Show being held at Olympia London: “Dubai’s status as a destination for both business and leisure continues to rise in the UK, thanks to the emirate’s quality infrastructure, accessibility and superior service level. Dubai’s proximity to the UK also makes it a convenient destination for visitors seeking warm weather and world-class experiences, a point underscored by the UK being the number one European source market for visitors to Dubai, and third internationally after Saudi Arabia and India.”

Keen to attract business travelers and a wider demographic of tourists, Dubai is investing heavily in mid-market hotels to increase the options available to visitors as well as international associations and congresses looking to host meetings in the emirate. Currently host to 50 per cent of all business events in the Middle East, Dubai is also keen to ensure the city can offer good value for money to business as well as leisure visitors, and to increase its share of the international meetings market.

“The UK market is an important one for Dubai when it comes to targeting decision-makers behind international business events and as such exhibiting at The Meetings Show helps us reach a key market, while also introducing Dubai as a global business events hub to European and UK audiences,” Jakobsen added.

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