Staff Writer: ArabianBusiness
February 13, 2024
Dubai experienced an exceptional year in terms of tourism in 2023, as it received an astounding 17.15 million international visitors.
Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, revealed the latest figures on X.
“These achievements align with the objectives of the Dubai Economic Agenda D33, aiming to position Dubai as one of the top three cities worldwide for business and tourism,” Sheikh Hamdan said.
Dubai hotel occupancy rate hits 77.4 percent
Dubai’s remarkable growth, amounting to a significant 19.4 percent increase, firmly solidified the emirate’s position as a top-notch global destination.
The city’s tourism sector has emerged as a front-runner, boasting an impressive hotel occupancy rate of 77.4 percent – among the highest in the world.
To cater to the escalating demand, Dubai’s hotel capacity has expanded to exceed 150,000 rooms, further enhancing its appeal to travellers from across the globe, Sheikh Hamdan revealed.
The number of occupied hotel room nights rose substantially to a new high of 41.7 million, representing an 11 percent increase year-on-year and 30 percent jump compared to 2019 figures.
“The significant rebound of Dubai’s tourism sector, outstripping global recovery rates, stands as a testament to the vision and leadership of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. This surge not only commemorates the inaugural year of the Dubai Economic Agenda D33 but also highlights the efficacy of a strategy that is a decade in the making, exemplifying resilience and adaptability as central to our economic impetus,” Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General of DET said.
Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce CEO Issam Kazim concurred the variety of unrivalled experiences have cemented the city’s first-choice destination status.
“As Dubai continues its exponential growth in alignment with the D33 Agenda set forth by our forward-thinking leadership, we remain committed to further elevating our standards and to advancing with innovative and distinctive world-class infrastructure, experiences and attractions,” Kazim said.
The tourism boost has broader economic impacts, with accommodation and food services seeing remarkable 11.1 percent growth that parallels Dubai’s overall 3.3 percent GDP expansion in the first nine months of 2023.
The thriving scene is supported by Dubai Festival and Retail Establishment’s calendar of iconic events ranging from retail promotions to arts, food and global trade shows. Major happenings like Gulfood and Gitex drew over 200,000 attendees alone in 2023.
Dubai’s cruise and yacht tourism portfolio also expanded. Over 3,600 berths across 15 marinas reinforced the magnetism for global superyachts and vessels.
The 2023-2024 winter season launch marked by luxury liner Mein Schiff 2’s arrival signals the start of another dynamic period.
Internationally, Dubai surpassed global recovery trends according to the UNWTO, with the Middle East outperforming all regions.
Top consumer markets Europe, South Asia, the GCC and wider MENA contributed significantly to arrivals. Emerging feeder countries in Asia Pacific and Africa are also seeing strong momentum.
A leader in sustainable practices, DET spearheaded initiatives like the new Dubai Sustainable Tourism Stamp initiative recognising hotels’ eco-dedication.
Projects improving coastlines through the Dubai Reef and expanding public beach access under the Beach Master Plan showcase long-term commitment to balancing hospitality and environment.
Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan to double tourism over the next two decades
Looking ahead, Dubai is well-positioned for continued growth. The 2040 Urban Master Plan will double leisure areas and hotel/tourism space over the next two decades. An expanded cruise schedule and initiatives under the Economic Agenda aim to cement the city’s value as an inclusive global gateway.
The record-breaking tourism performance in 2023 demonstrates Dubai’s vibrant allure and staying power. Under the visionary guidance of Sheikh Mohammed, it seems this focal point is only poised for greater accomplishments in the future.