RIYADH: International passenger arrivals in Dubai reached 14.36 million in 2022, up 97 percent from 7.28 million in 2021, the latest government data showed.
The figures from Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism indicate that the emirate is closing in on its pre-pandemic visitation levels when 16.73 million international passengers arrived in Dubai in 2019.
“The remarkable rise in international visitation in 2022 supports the ambitious goal of the Dubai Economic Agenda D33 to double the size of the emirate’s economy by 2033,” said the Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
He added: “The tourism and travel sector contributes significantly to the leadership’s aim of making the emirate a model for excellence in the global economy.”
Al Maktoum further noted that Dubai is emerging as a greater catalyst for the growth of global tourism and travel connectivity in the years ahead.
It should be noted that the latest data from the UN World Tourism Organization shows global tourist travel went down by 37 percent in 2022 compared to 2019.
The Middle East, however, showed the strongest relative increase in 2022, with arrivals climbing to 83 percent of pre-pandemic figures.
Dubai exceeded both global and regional barometers of recovery with visitors to the city reaching 86 percent of pre-pandemic levels in 2022.
“While the global economy remains in a state of flux, Dubai has emerged as a clear leader in the tourism industry. The robust performance is a testament to Dubai’s growing role at the vanguard of global tourism recovery,” said Helal Saeed Almarri, director general of Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism.
Almarri added: “The effectiveness of our strategies and initiatives gives us the confidence to tap new growth opportunities in the global travel and business sectors over the next few decades.”
Meanwhile, the hospitality sector in Dubai also achieved significant growth in 2022, as the average occupancy for the hotel sector last year stood at 73 percent, up from 67 percent in 2021, news agency WAM reported.
This figure is just short of the 75 percent occupancy in the pre-pandemic period of 2019.
Dubai’s hotel inventory at the end of December 2022 comprised 146,496 rooms at 804 hotel establishments, compared to 126,120 rooms available at the end of December 2019 across 741 establishments.