Dubai has an ambitious tourism strategy to attract 25 million visitors a year by 2025. If successful, this would make it the most visited city in the world and remove the crown from Bangkok.
Number of International Visitors to Dubai
Data from the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing shows that Dubai attracted 16.73 million tourists in 2019. This represented an increase of 5.09% on the previous year. In 2020, visitors dropped to 5.51 million due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The number of visitors to Dubai in recent years is shown in the table and graph below.
Visitors by country of origin are shown in the table and graph below.
At the end of 2020, there were a total of 711 hotels and hotel apartments in Dubai. These provided a total room supply of 126,947.
Occupancy rates in 2020 dropped due to the pandemic.
Daily average rates dropped from 415 AED (£81.14, €93.59, $112.99) in 2019 to 343 AED (£67.06, €77.36, $93.38) in 2020.
|Property Type||Number of Establishments 2020||Room Supply 2020||Occupancy Rate (%) 2020||Number of Establishments 2019||Room Supply 2019||Occupancy Rate (%) 2019||Number of Establishments 2018||Room Supply 2018||Occupancy Rate (%) 2018||Number of Establishments 2017||Room Supply 2017||Occupancy Rate (%) 2017|
|5 Star Hotels||134||44,067||45||128||43,133||74||113||38,543||76||103||35,853||7|
|4 Star Hotels||161||34,905||53||158||33,120||75||146||29,908||75||122||25,289||79|
|1 - 3 Star Hotels||225||21,732||59||258||24,491||75||260||22,634||75||260||21,591||79|
|Delux Hotel Apartments||74||11,845||63||68||10,520||77||68||10,522||78||65||9,768||78|
|Standard Hotel Apartments||117||14,398||66||129||14,856||77||129||14,360||78||131||14,930||81|
Top World Cities by Visitor Numbers
According the Mastercard’s Global Destination Cities Index 2018 (published September 2019), Dubai is the fourth most visited city in the world. Only Bangkok, Paris, and London attract more overnight visitors.
Dubai was the most visited city in the United Arab Emirates and the Middle East.
Dubai topped the list for both total and average daily visitor spending. The average visitor to Dubai spent $533 (£382.76, €441.51, 1957.71 AED) per day in 2018, much higher than in any of the other cities.
Total visitor spending in Dubai for the year was $30.82 billion.
Overnight visitors to Dubai spent an average of 3.5 nights in the city. The average tourist stayed longer in Dubai than Paris, but shorter than in any other of the top 10 cities.
|City||2018 International Overnight
Visitor Spending ($billion)
|Palma de Mallorca||12.69|
Dubai International Airport Passenger Numbers
The World Aircraft Traffic Report 2018, published by Airports Council International in September 2019, reveals that Dubai International Airport (DXB) is the third busiest airport in the world in terms of total passenger numbers.
In 2018 89.1 million passengers came through Dubai International Airport. Only Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) in the US and Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK) in China are busier.
|Rank 2018||Airport||Country||IATA Airport Code||Passengers|
|1||Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport||United States||ATL||107,394,029|
|2||Beijing Capital International Airport||China||PEK||100,983,290|
|3||Dubai International Airport||United Arab Emirates||DXB||89,149,387|
|4||Los Angeles International Airport||United States||LAX||87,534,384|
|5||Tokyo International Airport||Japan||HND||86,942,794|
|6||O'Hare International Airport||United States||ORD||83,245,472|
|8||Hong Kong International Airport||Hong Kong||HKG||74,515,927|
|9||Shanghai Pudong International Airport||China||PVG||74,006,331|
|10||Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport||France||CDG||72,229,723|
|11||Amsterdam Airport Schiphol||Netherlands||AMS||71,053,147|
|12||Indira Gandhi International Airport||India||DEL||69,900,938|
|13||Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport||China||CAN||69,743,211|
|15||Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport||United States||DFW||69,112,607|
|16||Istanbul Ataturk Airport||Turkey||IST||68,360,648|
|17||Incheon International Airport||South Korea||ICN||68,350,784|
|18||Soekarno-Hatta International Airport||Indonesia||CGK||65,667,506|
|19||Singapore Changi Airport||Singapore||SIN||65,628,000|
|20||Denver International Airport||United States||DEN||64,494,613|
Top Tourist Attractions
According to Tripadvisor the most popular tourist attractions in Dubai (July 2020) are: