Rise of Russian tourists in UAE, Dubai welcomes 8.36 mn visitors

The United Arab Emirates witnessed a massive influx of Russian tourists, accounting for one of the top ten source markets for the country, states a new report by international travel forum Expedia Group. Tourism data in the second quarter of 2019 showed more than a 55 per cent increase in Russian tourists visiting the UAE, when compared to the same period last year.

The overall number of international tourists has also significantly increased, leading to continued growth in the hospitality sector across the Emirates. “Many Europeans, including Russians, are lured to experience the UAE’s world-renowned hotels, luxurious standard of living, famous restaurants, entertainment venues, attractions and entrepreneurial business opportunities that contribute to the region’s year-on-year growth in the hospitality sector,” highlighted the report.

In the first six months of 2019, Dubai welcomed 8.36 million international overnight visitors, which saw a positive three percent growth in tourism volume when compared to the same period last year.

Read: Dubai makes it to Lonely Planet’s top 10 cities to visit in 2020

The data further predicted that Russian tourists traveling to the GCC will swell by 125 percent or 2.1 million by 2023, with a projected additional 2.9 million room nights likely to be added in the next five years.

Analysing the factors behind this significant increase, the Expedia report highlighted initiatives undertaken by the UAE government to boost the country’s tourism industry.

“In recent years, the strengthened political relationship between GCC and Russia has led to the introduction of additional airline routes and relaxed visa regulations for Russian nationals. With several attractive and flexible business opportunities, GCC has lured many Russian businesses to its market. Furthermore, the UAE government has adopted integrated strategies and innovative solutions to promote sustainable tourism and highlight UAE’s diverse attractions and world-class facilities, furthering its position as a top tourist destination in the Middle East.”

Russia will be a part of the Mobility District in the upcoming Dubai World Expo 2020. “This signals that Russia’s ties with the UAE and Russian tourism to the region shows no signs of slowing down as Russian visitors travelling to Dubai look set to peak during Expo 2020,” added the report.

Read: Dubai Expo 2020 – Countdown to world’s biggest show begins

“As seen from the recent data, major hotel groups are driving construction trends across the country to meet the demands of an ever-increasing number of domestic and international tourists, including Russia. At Expedia Group, offer hoteliers, a revenue management tool, Rev+[4], free to all lodging partners that work with us, to make revenue management more accessible and level the playing field for the global hospitality industry and allow hoteliers to benefit from greater efficiency through the ability to make more informed decisions, ultimately driving increased revenue performance for the entire hotel,” said Paula de Keijzer, Senior Director Market Management, Africa, Indian Ocean, Middle East and Turkey at Expedia Group.