Huge tourist numbers reflect Dubai charm - GulfToday

Huge tourist numbers reflect Dubai charm

Dubai tourism

The development of Dubai into a global centre for trade, tourism and commerce means that the Emirate has become a never-miss destination for world travellers.

Dubai is a city of superlatives and its penchant for the Number 1 slot is well known. Visionary policies, strategic tourism initiatives and endless attractions have placed the Emirate among the world’s top destinations.

The development of Dubai into a global centre for trade, tourism and commerce enabled by world-leading aviation sector and top-flight airport infrastructure means that the Emirate has become a never-miss destination for world travellers.

This is besides the stepping up of efforts by the Emirate to attract more cruise travellers and strengthen its position as a leading cruise hub of the region.

Dubai International, DXB, is maintaining its position as the world’s busiest hub for international passengers with traffic reaching 64.5 million passengers in the first nine months of 2019.

As per Dubai Airports officials, a total of 23,217,492 passengers travelled through DXB in the third quarter (-2.4% YoY), bringing the year to date traffic to 64,495,241 (-4.5% YoY).

The slight contraction in year to date numbers is mainly the result of the closure of one of DXB’s two runways for 45 days for a runway rehabilitation project during May-April, as well as the impact of the worldwide grounding of Boeing 737 Max aircraft since March this year.

DXB handled a total of 636,575 tonnes of cargo in the third quarter (-5.9% YoY) taking the year to date figure to 1,886,237 tonnes, down 4.1%. A bulk of the cargo traffic at DXB is belly-hold, which was impacted by reduction in capacity during the runway rehabilitation project.

With 97,498 flights recorded in the third quarter, the year to date flight numbers reached 275,882, down 9.9% from last year.

India has held on to its position as DXB’s top destination country by passenger numbers, with traffic for the first nine months reaching 8.8 million customers, followed by Saudi Arabia with 4.8 million customers, and the United Kingdom with 4.6 million customers.

Other destination countries of note include Pakistan (3 million customers), the US (2.4 million), and China (1.9 million).

The top three cities were London (2.7 million customers), Mumbai (1.7 million) and Riyadh with 1.6 million customers.

Wait times across DXB were reduced by 15% in the first nine months of 2019. DXB also handled a total of 54.5 million bags during the first nine months of the year.

On the cruise tourism front, the new cruise season commenced on Oct.19 with the arrival of TUI Cruises’ “Mein Schiff 5,” carrying over 6,000 passengers.

This will now be followed by five maiden calls from leading international cruise liners throughout the season, including Costa Cruises’ “Costa Diadema,” MSC Cruises’ “MSC Bellissima,” Royal Caribbean’s “Jewel of the Seas,” Croisieurope’s “La Belle Des Oceans,” and TUI Cruises’ “Mein Schiff 6.”

The cruise liners will homeport at Dubai’s award-winning Mina Rashid Cruise Terminal, home to world-class facilities capable of handling seven mega-cruise vessels at one time.

As Mohammed Al Muallem, CEO and Managing Director, DP World UAE Region, pointed out, “DP World UAE Region is committed to developing Dubai’s cruise industry to its maximum potential in line with the goals set out in the Dubai Silk Road strategy which was developed by the Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation in collaboration with key government entities.”

The 2019-2020 cruise season will also see increased efforts to promote cruise tourism in the region by the Dubai Cruise Committee, which comprises leading industry partners.

Way to go, Dubai.