According to the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism), the city welcomed an impressive number of overnight visitors in 2017, 15.79M – up 6.2% from 2016. This visitor growth rate is keeping with the emirate’s goal to have 20M annual overnight visitors in 2020. A new law is also in the making which will allow visitors in transit for over a certain number of hours to explore the city without having to apply for a visa beforehand. This will bring a tremendous boost to national tourism and an ‘easy to visit Dubai’ excuse for international travelers.
According to His Excellency Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General, Dubai Tourism, it’s the leadership of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai that has led to Dubai continuing to, “capture share of the global outbound travel market, complemented by a significant increase in tourism-driven economic contribution to the country’s GDP.”
Today, we’re taking a look at five reasons why Dubai has emerged as the international visitor’s destination of choice:
It’s Incredibly Well-Connected
One of the most popular reasons that expats and tourists choose Dubai is because it’s one of the most well-connected cities in the world. This is in part to its actual geographical position, a couple of hours to India and Pakistan, eight hours to the UK, seven and a half to China as well as fantastic world-class carriers, such as locally based Emirates, who operate several daily and conveniently timed flights. Dubai is also located close to several picturesque and historically significant cities from Baku in Azerbaijan and Petra in Jordan, making it the ideal place for visitors to explore even more of the world when they visit Dubai. Quite a few Middle Eastern carriers also operate in and out of Dubai to neighbouring countries, allowing businessmen and women to easily travel for same-day work purposes.
Dubai is family-friendly
Dubai is known the world over as a tourist destination, with photos of yacht parties, beach selfies and shopping sprees abounding on Instagram. While this might make families think twice about bringing their brood to the city, the reality couldn’t be more different. The city has been designed to not only accommodate but welcome families with kids of all ages – from infants to sullen teenagers. There is no shortage of accommodation options catering to families either, with the majority of the city’s best hotels having their own, fully staffed ‘Kids Club’.
In terms of entertainment, recent years have seen a surge of indoor and outdoor edutainment activities in Dubai, for little ones as well, such as Kidzania and OliOli. There are also several venues that are designed purely for fun, such as IMG Worlds of Adventure (the largest of its kind) and Dubai Parks and Resorts. The majority of restaurants in the city, fine dining included, also offer dedicated child care and special kids’ menus, so adults can enjoy a delicious meal while their little ones are taken care of.
There is always something going on to encourage travelers to visit dubai
The Dubai summer is the stuff of legend, spoken about with the same fear as Game of Thrones characters talk about winter. However, this does not mean that the city grinds to a halt when the mercury starts to rise! In fact, the city never really stops, and there are always plenty of events in Dubai, as well as indoor and outdoor attractions to keep even the fussiest travellers entertained. From watersports along the beach to shooting ranges, horse riding, trampoline parks and even outdoor gyms, there’s no shortage of things to do. If you’re looking for a more cultural experience, the Courtyard Playhouse, Dubai Opera House, Al Serkal Avenue and Dubai Design District has you covered. History buff? There is no shortage of heritage sites in Dubai to explore. Or if you’re a fan of good ol’ retail therapy….visitors during the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) and the Dubai Summer Surprises (DSS) are in for a treat! In addition to the more conventional malls (if you count indoor ski slopes, ice rinks and aquariums as ‘conventional’), Dubai also has uniquely designed outdoor malls, traditional Arabian souqs and shopping options that won’t break the bank.
Depending on when you choose to visit Dubai, you’re guaranteed that there’s an event going on! From international musicians to art fairs, world-famous fireworks on new year’s eve, parades, food festivals and more…you don’t have to ever worry about being bored in Dubai!
Dubai Means business Opportunities
As any savvy professional will tell you, there is no shortage of good business opportunities in Dubai. Since its inception, the city has become regarded as one of the world’s foremost commercial hubs, with an incredibly talented workforce hailing from all over the world. Situated between the east and west also means that Dubai enjoys trading hours that cover other international hubs’ business hours too. For example, Dubai is only four hours ahead of London and four hours behind Hong Kong. There is also an impressive legal framework for those looking to do business in Dubai, supported by state of the art ports, freezones and incentives for foreign investors, including grants.
there’s no beating Arab hospitality
One of the nicest things about visiting Dubai on holiday is the fact that you’re guaranteed fantastic Arab hospitality. Coming off a red-eye flight during Ramadan and a cheerful airport attendant will pour you a steaming hot cup of Arabic coffee and offer you some dates. If you think you’ve left something in a taxi, there are no shortage of stories where good-hearted drivers have returned valuable items to absent-minded passengers. For a true taste of Arab hospitality, however, head to the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding in the Al Fahidi Historic Neighbourhood for lunch or dinner. Your hosts will treat you to a traditional meal, as well as a lively discussion on Emirati traditions.
If you’re planning to visit Dubai and wondering where to stay, why don’t you consider the Dubai Marina? And if you plan on vacationing especially soon, check out our roundup of events happening in March!