Nowadays, the tourism sector makes the significant contribution to the region's GDP, according to the Department of Tourism and Commerce in Dubai, the total volume of this sector is $29.6 billion per year.
According to official data, during the first six months of 2018, 8.10 million foreign tourists have stayed in Dubai hotels.
India, Saudi Arabia,and the United Kingdom are the leaders in the number of tourists, according to data for the first half of 2018. The next year in a row, India leads in the number of tourists. So far, for the first half of 2018, Dubai was visited by over 1 million citizens from this country, this is 3% more than for the same period of the last year. China is also among the leaders in the number of tourists – 453 thousand of tourists from this country have already visited Dubai, and the annual growth in the number of tourists here is 9%. Another country whose citizens are actively interested in tourism in the UAE is Russia. During the year, the number of tourists from this country increased by 75% and amounted to 405 thousand.Such a rapid increase in the flow of tourists from the last two countries can be explained by the facilitated entry rules for Russians and Chinese, which became effective in early 2017 and the end of 2016, respectively.
Director General of Dubai Tourism is very optimistic about the future and highly appreciates the current results. A record of 8.1 million visitors was another step towards the ambitiousgoal of making Dubai the most visited city in the world.
Another factor that should stimulate further growth in the number of tourists is visa-free travel, namely, the exemption from the payment of visa fees for underage tourists from other countries.
It also cannot but rejoice that the authorities of the country have taken care of the mechanism of VAT refund for tourists, which will allow them to buy goods and services by 5% cheaper than residents of the country. It is expected that this will allow to further increase the number of tourists who come here for shopping.
Already at the end of July, more than 111 thousand people visited hotels in Dubai, which is 7% more than in the same period last year.