According to the most recent data published by Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism, 14.36 million international overnight visitors visited the city in 2022, an increase of 97% over the 7.28 million tourists that came in 2021. (DET).
Additionally, the emirate came very close to the 16.73 million tourists it had before the epidemic in 2019, which further bolstered its standing as the top global destination in the Tripadvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards 2023 for the second year in a row. This achievement has only ever been accomplished by two cities throughout history.
The bold objective of the Dubai Economic Agenda D33 to double the size of the emirate’s economy by 2033 is supported by the striking increase in foreign travel in 2022. The goal of the leadership to establish the emirate as a model for excellence in the international economy is considerably advanced by the tourism and travel industry.
The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) most current statistics show that worldwide tourism declined 37% from 2019 to 2022. The greatest relative growth was seen in the Middle East, where arrivals increased to 83% of pre-pandemic levels. Dubai surpassed both international and regional recovery indicators, with visitors to the city reaching 86% of pre-pandemic levels in 2022.
Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General of Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism, said: “While the global economy remains in a state of flux, Dubai has emerged as a clear leader in the tourism industry. The strong success is evidence of Dubai’s expanding leadership position in the global tourist revival. The positive momentum also shows that tourism remains a significant contributor to the city’s economic growth and sustainable development, further driving the goal of the Dubai Economic Agenda D33 to reinforce Dubai’s status as one of world’s top three cities for tourism and business.”
Strong expansion in the hospitality industry
The average occupancy rate for the hotel sector was one of the highest in the world in 2022, rising from 67 percent in 2021 to 73 percent. The occupancy rate falls barely shy of the 75% mark set in the years prior to the epidemic. Since the high occupancy was attained despite a 16% increase in room supply in 2022 compared to 2019, it is especially notable. Compared to the 126,120 rooms available at the end of December 2019 across 741 establishments, Dubai’s hotel inventory by the end of December 2022 consisted of 146,496 rooms at 804 hotels. With 755 hotels offering 137,950 rooms, the overall number of hotels increased by 6% from 2021 to 2022.
All other significant criteria, such as Average Daily Rate (ADR), Revenue Per Available Room, and Occupied Room Nights, demonstrated that the hotel business was doing better than it had been prior to the epidemic. A record-breaking 37.43 million occupied room nights were reported in 2022, an increase of 17% above the 32.11 million occupied room nights recorded in 2019 before the pandemic and a 19% rise over the 2021 total of 31.47 million.
With increases of 19% to 29%, the ADR of Dh536 in 2022 outperformed the ADRs of Dh451 in 2021 and Dh415 in 2019, respectively. The hotel industry’s good performance is also shown by its RevPAR growth, which climbed by 30% compared to 2021 and by 25% compared to the pre-pandemic season of 2019 (Dh391 vs. Dh301) (RevPAR of Dh312).
a variety of visa alternatives
In addition, Dubai keeps introducing powerful regulatory efforts to support the rapid expansion of the tourist industry, such as hassle-free entrance processes for both business and leisure travelers that sped up access to the emirate by forging long-term connections with the city. These include the Golden Visa, Virtual Working, and Retire in Dubai program, as well as the 60-day tourist visa that will be available starting in September 2022 and the Five-Year Multi-Entry Visa for employees of international corporations. Dubai was chosen as one of 20 locations worldwide in 2022 as part of Airbnb’s Live and Work Anywhere project to find the locations with the best conditions for remote workers.