Dubai is a tourist paradise, offering a multitude of attractions. With affordable tour packages and budget-friendly accommodations, the city has a place in every traveler’s itinerary. Moreover, the recent introduction of new travel trends such as staycations and tourism-boosting initiatives like remote-working visas and golden visas has contributed to its growing popularity. Today, in 2023, Dubai stands tall as it has been ranked as the number one destination in the Tripadvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards.
Let’s take a look at the 2023 Dubai Tourism Statistics report to see how the emirate is performing as a tourist spot.
Dubai Tourism Statistics 2023 (Key Points)
A total of 12.40 million people visited Dubai between January and September 2023.
Of all the countries, India contributed the highest number of visitors to Dubai in January-September 2023, with 1.80 million.
Dubai’s total international visitors for Q1 2023 is 4.67 million
The majority of Dubai’s international visitors in Q1 2023 came from India (612K visitors).
Total number of international visitors in 2022 was 14.36 million.
Dubai saw an increase of 7.08 million visitors in 2022, which is a 97% increase from 2021.
Number of hotels available for accommodation in Dubai as of the end of 2022 were 804, with 146,496 rooms.
Average daily rate for a hotel room in Dubai is 536 AED.
India was the major source of visitors in 2022 with 1.8 Million visitors.
GCC and Western Europe were the two regions that contributed the highest percentage of visitors, each contributing 21%.
Dubai Tourism Statistics 2023 [Infographics]
Accommodation Available in Dubai [Jan – Dec 2022]
From luxurious resorts like The Ritz Carlton to affordable hostels like Backpacker 16, anyone planning to visit Dubai can easily find accommodations based on their budget and preferences. By the end of 2022, there were 804 hotels available with 146,496 rooms. The average daily hotel room rate in Dubai is 536 AED.
Top Sources of Visitors to Dubai [Jan – Dec 2022]
India is one of the top sources of visitors to Dubai, with 1,842,000 Indians touring the region in 2022. Oman is in the second position with 1,311,000 visitors, and Saudi Arabia occupies the third position with 1,216,000.
Number of Tourists
Source of Visitors by Region [Jan – Dec 2022]
Looking at the region-wise distribution of tourists in 2022, we can see that the GCC and Western Europe together supplied 42% of the total visitors. The second position is occupied by South Asia with 17%, and MENA comes in the third position with 12% visitors.
North Asia & South East Asia
International Tourists in Dubai [2015 -2022]
Dubai has seen a steady influx of international tourists over the past several years, except between 2019 and 2021 due to the pandemic. While 16.73 million visitors came in 2019, the number drastically reduced to 7.28 million in 2021. However, with the help of strict COVID guidelines and attractive marketing strategies, ‘safe’ travel was once again introduced to international visitors. Thus, by 2022, the number had again risen to 14.36 million.
Top 5 International Destinations
Top 5 Most Visited Cities in the World
Average number of Visitors
According to Travel Medium, Dubai is the fourth most visited city in the world after Bangkok, Paris and London. Bangkok ranked first on the list, and has an average visitor count of more than 22 million. Paris, the second most visited city in the world, attracts visitors with its classic buildings, arching Parisian bridges and elegant boulevards. The city has an average of 19.10 million visitors.
Renowned for its Gothic architecture, London is the 3rd most visited city in the world. The city attracts more than 19 million tourists. With around 16 million international visitors, Dubai ranks fourth on the list. The city is popular for its highrises, mega-malls, and desert trips. Singapore comes fifth on this list with around 15 million visitors. This green and innovative city is a tourist hotspot with its unique hawker centers, street markets and fine dining restaurants.
Top Tourist Destinations in Dubai
Dubai is a dream city with the tallest skyscrapers, shopping malls, mammoth aquariums, indoor ski slopes and a number of other tourist spots. The city attracts thousands of visitors every day.
As per the list of most popular tourist destinations in Dubai by Trip Advisor, the Burj Khalifa is the most visited site. The list claims that the Burj Khalifa is more popular than the Dubai Fountain, Dubai Mall as well as the Dubai Miracle Garden.
Burj Al Arab, the most popular luxury hotel in Dubai, came first on the list of ‘Top Sites To See In Dubai’ on Lonely Planet, another travel portal. In this list, the Burj Khalifa ranks fourth after IMG Worlds of Adventure and Dubai Museum.
Most Famous Buildings & Artificial Islands in Dubai
Being the favourite tourist destination and the most searched place in Dubai, the Burj Khalifa is, without doubt, the most famous building. Burj Al Arab is the next most famous building, followed by Atlantis the Palm, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Cayan Tower, and the Jumeirah Emirates Towers.
The world’s largest artificial island, Palm Jumeirah is in Dubai. The island is shaped like a palm tree and is filled with luxury hotels, beachfront villas, and apartments. World Islands, an archipelago of small artificial islands, is located off the coast of Dubai.
Dubai Tourism Statistics 2022
- Total International Visitors from Jan to Nov 2022 is 12.82 Million.
- India was the highest number of international visitors in Jan – Nov 2022, with 1.6M visitors.
- Total International Visitors from Jan to Oct 2022 is 11.40 Million.
- India was the highest number of international visitors in Jan – Oct 2022, with 1.4M visitors.
- Total International Visitors from Jan to Sep 2022 is 10.12 Million.
- India was the major source of tourists in Jan – Sep 2022, with 1.2M visitors.
- Total International Visitors from Jan to June 2022 is 7.12 Million.
- India was the major source of tourists in Jan – June 2022, with 858K visitors.
- Total International Visitors from Jan to May 2022 is 6.17 Million.
- India was the major source of tourists in Jan – May 2022, with 707K visitors.
- Total International Visitors from Jan to April 2022 is 5.10 Million.
- Oman was the major source of tourists in Jan – April 2022, with 590K visitors.
- Total International Visitors from Jan to March 2022 is 3.97 Million.
- Oman was the major source of tourists in Jan – March 2022, with 463K visitors
- Total International Visitors from Jan to Feb 2022 is 2.19 Million.
- Saudi Arabia was the major source of tourists in Jan – Feb 2022, with 194K visitors
- Total Visitors in the Month of January 2022 alone 979.7K
- Saudi Arabia was the major source of tourists in January 2022, with 105K visitors
- Total International Visitors in 2021 – 7.28 Million
- Total Number of Hotels for Accommodation 2021 – 755
- Available Rooms in Dubai 2021 – 137,950
- Average Daily Rate for Rooms in Dubai 2021 – 451 AED
Accommodation Available in Dubai (Jan – Dec 2021)
With hotels dotted everywhere in Dubai, finding a good place to stay is no big deal. From five star resorts to budget hotels, you can choose accommodation based on your travel preferences.
As of 2021, there are 755 hotels and nearly 137,950 rooms available for tourists in Dubai. The average rate of rooms is AED 451 per day.
67% is their average occupancy level and the average length of stay is 4.6 nights.
International Tourists in Dubai
International Tourists (Million)
In 2015, the total number of international tourists accounted for 14.2 million. The figure rose gradually over four years, touching 16.73 million in 2019. However, the pandemic put a damper on the tourism sector, causing a sudden plunge in the annual visitations. According to official estimates, only 5.51 million tourists came to Dubai in 2020. Now, the UAE government is taking necessary measures to revive the tourism sector again.
Top Sources of visitors to Dubai (Jan-Dec 2021)
Number of Tourists
The UAE tourism sector under the effective guidance of the government undertook ‘revival’ strategies to open its doors to visitors. Innovative solutions were designed to adjust to the ‘new’ normal and make the visitors feel safe while travelling. These efforts to rekindle the tourism sector did not go in vain.
Around 7.28 million foreign nationals visited Dubai between Jan and Dec 2021. Of which, nearly 0.91 million were Indians. India was (and continues to be) the primary source of visitors to Dubai and UAE. Saudi Arabia came in second with 0.49 million visitors followed by Russia with 0.44 million. You can check the chart for the top ten sources of visitors to Dubai.
Sources of Visitors by Region (Jan – Dec 2021)
North & South East Asia
When we take the region-wise distribution into account, from January to December 2021, Western Europeans dominated the tourist category with 22% of the total visitors. South Asians followed close with 18%. The third position was occupied by Eastern Europeans with 15%. While 13% of tourists were from the MENA and GCC region and 8% of tourists came from the African region.
Most Searched ‘Dubai’ Places on Google
Unsurprisingly, Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, is the most searched place on Google. Nearly 1 million people search Burj Khalifa every month, which is almost 6 times higher than Burj Al Arab, the second spot with 1,60,000 searches. The Dubai mall is the third most searched place in Dubai with 99,000 searches per month and Global Village comes in fourth place with 52,000 monthly searches. Moreover, 35,000 people search for Ski Dubai, 25,000 people search for Dubai Frame and 15,000 people search for Dubai Miracle Garden every month.
Events that Promote Tourism in Dubai
Apart from the architectural marvels, Dubai hosts a lot of festivals and events every year. Dubai Shopping Festival, Dhow Race, Dubai International Film Festival, Dubai World Cup, etc. are some of them. Every year these events attract thousands of tourists from all corners of the world.
The year 2021 saw the grand opening of the most-awaited Dubai Expo 2020. Let’s take a look at the two main attractions of 2021 that generated the maximum visitations.
Dubai Expo 2020
The Dubai Expo 2020 was a 6-month long event that started on 1st October 2021 and ended on 31st March 2022. 24 million visitors from over 178 countries travelled to witness the breathtaking architecture, groundbreaking technological advances and thrilling live performances staged at the expo For the first time in world expo history, each country showcased itself through a pavilion. The theme of the expo was Connecting Minds and Creating the Future.
For those who could not visit the Expo and those wishing to revisit their experiences, the Virtualexpodubai.com became a boon. This first-time initiative allows people to indulge in a virtual tour of the Expo. To date, this platform has received 250 million visits with the majority of traffic from India, China and the UAE.
Dubai Shopping Festival 2021
The 27th edition of the Dubai Shopping Festival started on 17th December 2020 and continued till 30th January 2021. The shoppers were enthralled with the power-packed performances of international celebrities. The celebrations kickstarted at Burj Park, Downtown Dubai with a performance by Balqees Fathi and Mohamed Hamaki.
An impressive collection by local artisans and mouthwatering delights by food trucks filled the hunger and impressed the minds of the visitors. The DSF Drone Light Show at Bluewaters Island returned this year with more dazzle and pomp. Dubai Lights also debuted this year throughout the city. It included 7 interactive lighting installations. Not to forget the huge discounted offers from leading brands that welcomed shoppers.
Many visual delights like aerial acrobatics enthralled the visitors. Harry Potter’s magical world and Madagascar were also recreated here. To sum up, the DSF was truly an unforgettable experience for shoppers and visitors alike. If you missed out this year, you can be a part of the next DSF, which is expected to take place from 15th December 2022 to 29th January 2023.
Global Tourism Campaigns
Dubai has been engaging global audiences through international campaigns for several years. The notable ones are ‘Dubai Presents’ and ‘Stay more Pay less’. While the former promotes the city’s attractions through movie-style trailers featuring Hollywood and Bollywood celebrities, the latter shows Dubai as a summer destination and draws people to the Dubai Summer Surprises Festival. These campaigns are designed to portray Dubai as the destination of choice for all kinds of travellers from across the globe.
Modes of Transportation
Dubai city is the most travel-friendly city since it provides several means of affordable transportation for tourists.
For long-distance travel, the metro is the best option for tourists. Metro trains are available every few minutes. If you are staying in Dubai for a long duration, you can buy a red NOL card. You can recharge this card with a sufficient amount of money and use it for any public transport facility.
If you want to travel along the coastal route then you can take the tram. The tram in Dubai has 11 stations and runs along Al Sufouh Road and Jumeirah Beach Road.
The bus network in Dubai covers 87% of the urban area and has 1,518 buses. The internal lines connect to metro stations and the intercity lines can be used to travel to another emirate.
The taxi is the cheapest mode of transportation available to tourists. However, you may have to face the peak hour traffic, sometimes. But with proper planning, this situation can be avoided to a good extent.
Various modes of Marine transport are available to tourists for a comfortable trip around Dubai. These include the water bus, the Dubai ferry, Abra and the water taxi.
- Abra is the most traditional transportation facility that is part of the city’s heritage (you can opt for a traditional Abra or an air-conditioned/petrol heritage Abra).
- A ferry can take you on a striking journey along the coastline and give you a view of the historical sites alongside.
- The water taxi is the perfect alternative to the city’s busy traffic. Tourists can either explore the impressive skyline between Palm Jumeirah and Dubai Marina or the heritage between Creek and Dubai Water Canal.
- The water bus provides a comfortable air-conditioned ride for tourists to enjoy the charms of the scenic Dubai Marina area.
If you visit the official website of the Government of Dubai, you can access the timetables of the various transports. You also have the option of entering the ‘From’ and ‘To’ sections under: ‘Plan your Journey’ to view the time taken by each transport service.
Awards and Recognitions – A Testimony to Dubai’s Travel-Friendliness
- Julius Baer’s Global Wealth and Lifestyle report placed Dubai as no.1 in the MEASA region and no.12 globally for providing exceptional experiences and maintaining an outstanding quality of life.
- The Global Talent Competitive Index placed Dubai in the 3rd position as the most desirable place to live and work.
- Gallup Global Law and Order gave the first position to the UAE in terms of night safety and the second position in terms of overall safety.
- At the TripAdvisor Travelers Choice Awards, Dubai was voted as the No.1 destination for ‘City Lovers’ and the No. 4 destination for ‘Food Lovers’.
The Dubai Government has taken many initiatives to make travel a hassle-free experience for visitors. As part of this, it has introduced several easy entry procedures for travelers like
- Five-Year Multi-Entry Visa – Employees of international companies can access this visa.
- Golden Visa Initiative – Retired professionals, acclaimed personalities, investors and entrepreneurs can access this visa.
These steps were undertaken to encourage people to extend their visits and also multiply their visits to Dubai.
Post-Covid Travel Requirements
The Dubai government has issued certain travel requirements from 26 February 2022 for tourists to create a safe environment for travelers while they enjoy the city. All passengers arriving from any country should present one of the three documents mentioned below:
- Vaccination certificate with a QR code that proves they are fully vaccinated. Vaccines should be approved by the WHO or the UAE.
- Negative PCR test with a QR code given by an approved health provider. It should be issued within 48 hours from the time of sample collection to the flight time.
- A Valid medical certificate with a QR code given by relevant authorities that shows you have recovered from Covid-19 within a month before the date of travel.
The Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan is an initiative to turn Dubai into a city that is the preferred destination for businesses, tourists and investors. These friendly and strategic steps are definitely yielding results as visitors continue to throng the city to witness its delights. Below you can read the Tourism Statistics for Dubai 2019
Dubai Tourism Statistics 2019 (Infographics)
Rooms for Everyone
In 2020, in spite of the pandemic, Dubai had a whopping 5.51 million visitors from around the world. In addition to a plethora of sights and delights that attracted these high number of people, Dubai is also well-equipped in terms of accommodations for dealing with this kind of inflow. The emirate has more than 740 hotels, offering a total of 127,814 rooms. These rooms are available across a whole spectrum of price ranges, catering to everyone from the luxury tours to the budget traveler. The average daily rate for rooms in Dubai is 343 AED.
International visitors for the first 6 months of 2019 (Jan-Jun) is recorded as 8.36 million.
Top Tourist Destinations in Dubai
Being home the tallest skyscraper in the world to the biggest shopping mall, Dubai is literally a wonder. These prominent tourist hotspots attract thousands of visitors daily. Dubai had attracted a record 16.7 million tourists in 2019 – an increase of 5.1 % compared to the previous year –
According to a list of most popular tourist sites in Dubai by Trip Advisor, the Burj Khalifa – the world’s tallest building is the most visited site in Dubai. The list claims that the that the Burj Khalifa is more popular than Dubai Mall, Dubai Fountain as well as the Dubai Miracle Garden.
Burj Al Arab – the famous hotel of celebrities, was at the top of the list of ‘Top Sites To See In Dubai’ on Lonely Planet – another travel portal. In their list, Dubai Museum and IMG Worlds of Adventure rank ahead of the Burj Khalifa.
These are the top 10 destinations according to the list:
1. Burj Khalifa
Burj Khalifa is the world’s tallest building, standing at a height of 828 meters. It is a mixed-use structure that hosts the Dubai Mall, Souk Al Bahar, Dubai Fountain, etc. besides numerous hotels and residential apartments.
2. The Dubai Fountain
The Dubai Fountain is the most popular free tourist attraction in the city. It is built on Burj Khalifa Lake in downtown Dubai. The fountain shoots water sprays as high as 15 meters, illuminated by over 6000 lights, color projectors, and lasers.
3. The Dubai Mall
Raised in Downtown Dubai, this is the largest shopping mall in the city, home to over 1000 stores and restaurants. The mall offers a number of tourist destinations including an ice rink, multiplex cinema, and an aquarium.
4. Dubai Miracle Garden
Open to visitors in 2011, this ambitious project began with the aim to be the world’s largest garden. The Miracle Garden is a seasonal attraction, open from October to April each year. It is located in Al Barsha South.
5. Global Village
The Global Village is a seasonal shopping extravaganza where multiple countries come together to showcase their regional culture, cuisines, etc. It is claimed to be the world’s largest tourism, shopping, leisure entertainment program. Global Village is open to visitors during the winter months in Dubai.
6. Dubai Frame
The Dubai Frame is the latest addition to Dubai’s already awe-inspiring line of tourist attractions. This impressive feat of engineering has two 150 meter towers connected by Sky Deck, a 93-meter bridge. Dubai Frame is located in Zabeel Park.
7. Atlantis Aquaventure Waterpark
This large waterpark is a part of the Atlantis Resort, Palm Jumeirah. The park hosts a private beach, river rides, and numerous waterslides. The park opens daily at 10 am and closes at sunset.
8. La Mer
Lamer is a popular beachfront tourist destination in Jumeirah. Visitors can indulge in a wide range of leisure facilities like restaurants, shops, cafes, and more. Lamer attracts tourists for its magnificent street art and industrial-inspired zone.
9. Burj Al Arab
The Burj Al Arab is located on its own island near Jumeirah Beach. This ultra-luxury hotel offers premium suites overlooking the sea besides fine dining restaurants. The magnificent hotel has a guest list of VIPs and celebrities from across the world.
10. Ski Dubai
This is an indoor ski resort spread across a large area of 22,500 sq km. Professional instruction is available for beginners, while all equipment and clothing are included in the entry fee. For non-skiers, there is a large snow park offering wide-ranging activities for families and children
Dubai Tourism – Some Interesting Facts
- IMG Worlds of Adventure, Dubai, is the world’s largest indoor-themed entertainment center.
- The Dubai Aquarium Tank, with a 10 million liters capacity is the largest suspended aquarium in the world.
- Around 85% of Dubai’s Population Is Foreign
- The Emirates Mall in Dubai allows you to ski indoors!
- Almost all popular food chains in the world have a branch in Dubai
- Dubai has air-conditioned shelters for those waiting for public transport
- Terminal 3, Dubai International Airport, is the world’s largest airport terminal
- The world’s longest automated metro (75 km) is in Dubai
- Dubai Miracle Garden is the world’s largest flower garden.
World’s Busiest Airports
The Hub of Global Air Travel
Dubai’s global popularity could be attributed to its geographical location. The city is located in a conveniently central location that is equidistant from both the east and the west. This makes it an important hub for travellers from Asia travelling to Europe and North America.
In 2018, Dubai International Airport welcomed 89.1 million travellers, making it the 3rd most popular airport in the world behind Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta and the Capital International Airport in Beijing. During the first half of 2019, Dubai International Airport has already seen 41.28 million visitors. Last year, in spite of the travel restrictions, the DXB had 25.9 million visitors.
Top 10 Sources of Visitors for Dubai
The UAE government’s new policies to boost tourism have worked like a charm, and the city has played host to tourists from all over the globe. Unsurprisingly, Indians were atop the list of nationalities visiting the city.
The most number of visitors to Dubai in the last year came from India. A total of 865,000 Indians visited the city between January to December. Saudi Arabia was second behind India with 400,000 visitors and the UK was in the third position just ahead of Russia, followed by Oman, Pakistan, the USA, and China.
International Tourist in Dubai
‘The City of Gold’ has been quickly climbing the list of the most explored tourist destinations in the world. While London and Bangkok have been shuttling in the number one position, Dubai is likely to take over the spot in the coming year according to a recent article in the Telegraph.
It is the only city from the MENA region in the top 10 of this list. Bangkok, with 21.9 million visitors, is at the top of this list; followed by London and Paris with 20.42 and 17.95 million visitors respectively.
Most Searched ‘Dubai’ Places On Google Search
What’s Popular On The Web
Besides being on top of the list of most popular tourist sites in Dubai, the Burj Khalifa also dominates the internet. The famous tower accounts for nearly 1 million Google searches every month, nearly 4 times higher than Burj Al Arab at 2nd spot with 246,000 searches. The Dubai Mall is the 3rd most Googled destination in Dubai, while Global Village is at the fourth spot with 135,000 monthly searches. The newly opened Dubai Frame has been extremely popular on the internet with 74,000 searches every month.
Almost all the prominent hotels and resorts from the world over have opened up a branch in the city in recent years. The UAE government is offering visa-on-arrival for tourists from more and more countries as they expand capacity for tourism in the city.
The Expo 2020 coming up in October and running till March 2022, would be a catalyst for tourism growth. The Expo will further enhance the national economy besides boosting retail and real estate activity as the Covid-19 immunization program progresses.
2020 will be a crucial year for the tourism sector in Dubai. Several huge projects started during this administration are expected to be completed including the Museum of the Future, Jewel of the Creek, Dubai Water Canal Project and several more. The city will also host its first World Expo in 2020. It is definitely exciting times ahead for the Dubai Tourism Sector.
Looking for strategies to make the most of the tourism boom in Dubai? Think digital, think social, think GMI. Reach out to us and let us chart out the right digital marketing strategy for you.
Find out our Dubai Tourism Statistics Infographics in 2018.
Disclaimer: GMI acknowledges that though we try to report accurately, we cannot verify the absolute facts of everything that has been represented on this infographic. The information represented is based on information researched from various sources on the internet. We are not liable for any errors, financial loss, or damages of any kind that may result from the use of, or reliance on, the information herein.