|26 February, 2020

Expo 2020 Dubai: Visitors from India, Saudi, Philippines to increase significantly

The research from Colliers International forecasts that there will be 770,000 more Indian visitors coming to the UAE

Expo 2020 Dubai UAE. Dubai media office twitter account.

Expo 2020 Dubai UAE. Dubai media office twitter account.

The number of visitors from some of the UAE’s top source tourism markets will increase significantly in 2020 and 2021, fuelled by travellers who will be coming to the country mainly for the Expo 2020, according to the latest analysis.

The research from Colliers International forecasts that there will be 770,000 more Indian visitors coming to the UAE, while Saudi Arabia will register 240,000 additional travellers, the Philippines and the UK both 150,000 and Pakistan 140,000 during the same period.

The figures were released ahead of the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2020, which will be held in Dubai next month.

"Not only will Expo 2020 increase international arrivals to the UAE and showcase the country as a major global tourism hub – it has also provided the country with the opportunity to expand its world-class hospitality offerings; upgrade its airports and transport infrastructure; and develop an expansive array or new retail, leisure and entertainment facilities as well as diversifying its key source markets by reaching out to new and emerging markets,” Danielle Curtis, Exhibition Director ME, Arabian Travel Market (ATM) said.

The Middle East and Africa region remains the top source market for the UAE, but the Asia pacific market is set to become the largest source of arrivals with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.8 percent until 2024, the report said.

Data from research firm STR showed that Dubai has more than 120,000 hotel rooms as of February 2020, with a goal of completing 160,000 hotel rooms by October 2020 as the emirate gears up to meet the anticipated demand generated by Expo 2020, with 25 million visitors expected.

Average occupancy rates reached 73 percent in the first nine months of 2019. Despite that, Dubai Tourism reported a decline in revenue per available room (RevPar) to 295 dirhams in 2019 from 337 dirhams in 2018, primarily driven by softening average daily rate (ADR), which dropped to 400 dirhams in 2019 from 451 dirhams in 2018, the report said.

“The introduction of a new multi-entry five-year tourist visa will not only drive more frequent travel to the country and longer stays but it will also allow for a whole host of new airline routes, making the country more accessible to a host of first time tourists from emerging markets – providing a boost to overall tourist spend and further stimulating the UAE’s GDP impact,” Curtis said.

The report notes that the outlook for the hospitality sector in the UAE is positive in the next 12 months due to strong demand in the market, backed by increasing number of arrivals from key and emerging markets as a result of Expo 2020 and the imminent introduction of a new tourist visa.

(Writing by Gerard Aoun gerard.aoun@refinitiv.com, editing by Seban Scaria)


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