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Dubai set to be 7th most popular city.

DUBAI continues to climb the ranks as an international travel destination, according to MasterCard's third annual Global Destination Cities Index. The UAE's travel hub has consistently advanced its position since the inception of the Index in 2011, ranking ninth in its launch year and eighth in 2012. Dubai is set to be the seventh most popular city globally in terms of inbound international visitors in 2013, outranking cities such as Hong Kong, Barcelona, Milan and Rome. At 10.9 per cent, Dubai (along with Bangkok) shows the strongest growth in arrival numbers among the top 10 global markets, with 9.89 million overnight visitors expected this year. Dubai also ranks eighth globally by international overnight visitor spend, with an estimated $10.4 billion to be spent in the city during 2013. The Index indicates that if all top 10 destination cities maintain their current rates of growth in the next few years, Dubai will surpass Singapore and New York in 2016 and Paris in 2017 in terms of international visitor arrivals.

The top five origin cities for Dubai are London, Kuwait, Paris, Frankfurt and Doha, and all of these are expected to grow strongly in visitor numbers in 2013. "While the Middle East and Africa's top ten cities lineup is exactly the same as in 2012, there is a striking difference in how far Dubai is ahead of the other cities," said Dr. Yuwa Hedrick-Wong, global economic advisor for MasterCard and the author of the report, speaking at a press conference held to announce the MasterCard's Global Destination Cities Index. The Middle East and Africa's top five destination cities by international overnights visitors are Dubai (9.9 million), Riyadh (five million), Johannesburg (2.5 million), Amman (2.4 million) and Lagos (2.2 million). Among the Middle East and Africa's top 10, Abu Dhabi (ranked seventh with 1.7 million visitors) showed the strongest growth rate, with an anticipated 16.1 per cent increase in arrivals. The UAE's capital also ranked sixth among the global top 20 with regard to growth rates of international visitor arrivals between 2009 and 2013, with growth of 96.8 per cent during this period. Within the Middle East and Africa, Dubai ranks first by international overnight visitor spend, followed by Riyadh and Beirut. Beirut's position in this ranking is remarkable, given that Lebanon's capital is not among the top 10 cities in the region by visitor arrivals. The $2.8 billion expected to be spent in the capital this year reflects the attraction that the city holds for more affluent consumers. Globally, Bangkok outranked London as 2013's number one destination city with only about 25,000 visitors separating the two. The Index predicts that Bangkok will draw the highest international visitor numbers in 2013, ahead of London, Paris, Singapore, and New York. Copyright 2008

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Publication:Travel & Tourism News
Geographic Code:9THAI
Date:Jul 1, 2013
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