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India top traffic generator for Dubai in 2016

Dubai: Leading the list of traffic generators to Dubai in 2016, nearly 1.8 million Indians visited the Gulf Emirate, recording a 12 per cent rise over last year, the Tourism Department here has said.

According to Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism), South Asian markets spanning the Indian sub-continent continued to deliver impressive volumes of both first time and repeat tourists, demonstrating the ability of Dubai to drive regular reconsideration through a diverse range of evolving destination offerings.

Overnight visitors to Dubai soared five per cent to 14.9 million in 2016, largely spurred by an upswing in traffic from the GCC, India, Pakistan, China, Britain and Russia. “The effectiveness of our three-pronged approach is evidenced by the encouraging thirteen per cent (13 per cent) growth in volumes from South Asia led by India, despite the demonetisation and cash pressures facing the market,” Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General, Dubai Tourism, said.

According to Amarri, highlights of 2016 include the massive 20 per cent boost in Chinese visitors, crossing the half million mark for the first time with 540,000 tourists arriving in Dubai; and the definitive resurgence of Russian inbound tourism, recording a 14 per cent growth in overnight traffic.

“Both countries are only expected to further accelerate through 2017 thanks to the UAE’s recent implementation of visas-on-arrival for all their citizens,” he said. Leading the list of traffic generators to Dubai in 2016, India brought in nearly 1.8 million overnight tourists, up 12 per cent, while Pakistan, which is among the top 10 markets, delivered 607,000 tourists at 18 per cent growth.

“Expectations on tourism growth from India remain high for 2017 with even stronger bilateral ties being forged between the UAE and India, highlighted by the recent presence of Sheikh Mohammad bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, as the Chief Guest at India’s 68th Republic Day celebrations,” he said.

PTI