Dubai sees jump in tourism figures, remains world's fourth most visited destination

Dubai’s dancing fountains at Dubai Mall continue to be popular with visitors to the emirate. (Shutterstock)
Updated 07 February 2018
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Dubai sees jump in tourism figures, remains world's fourth most visited destination

LONDON: Dubai saw a 6. 2 percent hike in visitors in 2017, surpassing the 5 percent increase year-on-year of 2016 according to the Dubai Media Office.
There were 15.79 million tourists who visited the emirate in 2017 according to the latest data from Dubai Tourism – that is less than 5 million short of the 2020 goal of 20 million visitors per year.
The numbers place Dubai as the fourth most visited destination globally. India accounted for the largest proportion of visitors, delivering 2.1 million people to the emirate, while 1.53 million Saudis and 1.27 million Britons also spent at least one night there.
The news comes just days after it was announced that Dubai International Airport had maintained its place as the world’s busiest for international passengers in 2017 – despite passenger traffic growing at its slowest pace in at least nine years.
Annual traffic increased 5.5 percent to 88.2 million passengers, compared to 83.6 million in the previous year.
Dubai Tourism Director General Helal Saeed Almarri said: “Our strong 6.2 percent growth in 2017 has allowed us to ramp up the pace towards meeting our 2020 targets… With Dubai firmly consolidating its position as the fourth most visited city globally, we remain confident that our performance, backed by the continued strength of our partnerships across government and private sector stakeholders, will enable us to successfully attain our goals of becoming the number 1 most visited city.”
The bulk of the remainder of Dubai’s visitors have also traveled from China, Russia, the USA, Germany and Iran, the report added.
Dubai’s major theme parks: IMG Worlds of Adventures and Dubai Parks and Resorts (DPR) had their first full year of operations in 2017. And new attractions: Dubai Frame and Dubai Safari both were opened at the back end of the year.


Adnoc signs deal with Eni on Ghasha concession

Updated 13 November 2018
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Adnoc signs deal with Eni on Ghasha concession

  • ADNOC grants Eni 25 percent stake in ultra sour gas project
  • Follows Adnoc award to France's Total

LONDON: The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) has granted the Italian oil company Eni a 25 percent stake in an off-shore gas mega-project, in a move that will support the emirate’s efforts to become self-sufficient in gas.
The energy company is now in discussions with other potential partners for the remaining 15 percent of the available 40 percent stake in the concession earmarked for foreign companies.
The award covers the Ghasha ultra-sour gas concession just off the coast of the UAE, including the Hail and Dalma and other offshore fields. Eni will contribute 25 percent of the development cost of the project which is likely to cost billions of dollars.
The deal comes just days after ADNOC awarded a 40 percent stake to French oil firm Total on Nov. 11 to explore and develop its Ruwais Diyab unconventional gas concession.
The Ghasha gas fields are estimated to hold trillions of standard cubic feet of recoverable gas, according to a company statement.
Once on stream, the project is expected to produce more than 1.5 billion cubic feet of gas per day. This could provide enough gas to supply electricity to more than 2 million homes, said ADNOC.
The project is set to produce 120,000 barrels of oil and high-value condensate per day once complete, the company said.
“ADNOC is committed to ensuring a stable and economic gas supply to the UAE, which is a core component of our 2030 strategy,” said Sultan Ahmed Al-Jaber, UAE minister of state and ADNOC group CEO.
“Development of our Hail, Ghasha and Dalma ultra-sour gas offshore resources, at commercial rates, will make a significant contribution towards delivering that strategic imperative and bringing forward the day when the UAE will not only be self-sufficient in gas but also transitions to net exporter of gas,” he said.
Eni won its first concession rights in the emirate’s oil and gas sector earlier this year, with Adnoc granting the Italian firm a 10 percent interest in its Umm Shaif and Nasr concession and a 5 percent stake in the Lower Zakum concession in March.
“We are pursuing a strategy of growing in the Middle East and today’s signature is further confirmation of our willingness to root our presence in Abu Dhabi,
following the agreements signed last March, with Adnoc,” said Eni CEO, Claudio Descalzi, in a statement.
ADNOC is exploring opportunities beyond Abu Dhabi, having also signed a framework agreement with the Uzbek energy company, Uzbekneftegaz on Tuesday.
The agreement will see the Gulf company provide advice on Uzbekistan’s upstream and downstream operations.