Dubai: India is top source country for foreign tourists


DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – For the first time, India is Dubai’s number one source market for foreign tourists with over 1.6 million Indians visiting the emirate in 2015, according to new figures.

Despite a sluggish economy and a strong US dollar constraining Dubai’s competitiveness, Western Europe remained the second highest regional contributor to visitor volumes, bringing in nearly three million tourists, reflecting a solid 6.1 percent growth in numbers, figures released by the Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing reported.

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) remained the regional foothold, supporting continued demand from neighboring markets to Dubai, consequently delivering the highest share of visitor volumes for 2015, with a total of 3.3 million, up 12.8 percent over 2014, it said.

The UK remained within Dubai’s top three source countries with 11 percent growth, accounting for nearly 1.2 million visitors.

South Asia was the next largest region by volume, bringing in 2.3 million visitors, reflecting a 21.7 percent increase versus 2014, the figures reported.

India dominated the region, becoming Dubai’s number one source market for the first time with over 1.6 million tourists, the report said.

The country recorded a 26 percent year-on-year growth.

Pakistan ranked just outside the top five, ending 2015 at 11 percent growth and 513,000 visitors, it reported.