In Q1 2023, Dubai received 4.67 million foreign visitors, up 17% YoY from 3.97 million tourists during the same period in 2022, according to the Department of Economy and Tourism (DET) of Dubai. As a result, the city is on track to surpass the US as the most popular international tourism destination. Since the outbreak, this is the city’s best first quarter performance.
The expansion is necessary to carry out the Dubai Economic Agenda D33, which His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister, and Ruler of Dubai, revealed earlier this year. Dubai is intended to be firmly established as one of the top three cities in the world under the agenda.
The number of visitors in Q1 2023, which fell just two percentage points short of the pre-pandemic volume of 4.75 million tourists that arrived in Dubai in the first three months of 2019, was a remarkable accomplishment since turning the tide in July 2020 by reopening the city to international tourists, and in spite of current global economic headwinds. The accomplishment of the sector was also the pinnacle of a fantastic first quarter for Dubai, which saw the city once again voted the top travel destination in the world by Tripadvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards 2023. This is only the second time in history that the same city has won the prestigious prize twice.
Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General of Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism, commented, “Q1 2023 has set us off on a very strong trajectory for the year and is driving us closer towards realising the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai to make Dubai the most visited and re-visited destination. The robust performance of the industry is confirmation of our clearly defined strategy and evidence of the unwavering support of our stakeholders and partners in the tourism sector. The coming decade will see our industry going through extraordinary phases of transformation, in terms of infrastructure, technology, attractions and experiences, as we focus on achieving the goals of the Dubai Economic Agenda 2033.
All other hospitality initiatives for the hotel sector outperformed their pre-outbreak levels. 10.98 million Occupied Room Nights were provided by Dubai hotels in the first three months of the year, up 27% YoY from the 8.63 million Occupied Room Nights recorded during the pre-pandemic period of Q1 2019. ADR climbed by 22% to AED607 for the first three months of the year from AED498 in 2019, while RevPAR increased by 21% to AED504 for the same time period from AED417 in the year’s pre-pandemic period of 2019.