Dubai leading the way for global tourism recovery

Dubai leading the way for global tourism recovery

The emirate has welcomed 3.7 million international overnight visitors since July 2020 

According to data published by Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism), the city welcomed 3.7 million overnight visitors during the 11-month period from July 2020 to May 2021. These numbers  reinforce the leading role that Dubai is playing in global tourism recovery and underscore Dubai’s enduring appeal as a destination.

Dubai’s current standing is due in large part to its efforts to ensure the health and safety of its residents and visitors. Speaking about the data, HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Crown Prince and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, said: “The new data reveals that Dubai’s tourism rebound is gathering pace despite the current challenges faced by international markets. The growing momentum of recovery not only reflects the fundamental strengths of Dubai’s tourism sector and the diversity of its source markets, but also the emirate’s economic resilience and agility in the face of a rapidly fluctuating global environment.

“We have seen inspiring commitment and proactivity from all stakeholders in the public and private sector to work together to adopt innovative approaches that can consolidate the sustainable recovery of the sector. Furthermore, Dubai’s ability to implement a rigorous precautionary protocol regime has made the city one of the world’s safest destinations for travellers. As we gear up to host Expo 2020, these exceptional standards will enable us to ensure the event provides the highest global benchmarks of safety and security for all visitors.”


A variety of safety initiatives were launched, based on the guidelines of Dubai’s Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management, including effective testing and vaccination programmes. The vaccination campaign also covered employees across hotels as the frontline of the tourism industry, starting with a pilot programme that saw more than 10,000 employees of leading hotels on The Palm Jumeirah receiving the vaccines.

The UAE is currently ranked among the top five nations globally in terms of vaccine rollout. The stringent measures are underpinned by the DUBAI ASSURED stamp, a compliance protocol that certifies establishments within the tourism ecosystem that adhere to standards. As a result, Dubai’s extensive and sustained efforts at containing the pandemic won international recognition with the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) awarding the city a ‘Safe Travels’ stamp.

 Downtown Dubai, UAE

His Excellency Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General of Dubai Tourism, commented: “The series of swift strategic measures taken by Dubai’s leadership enabled the city to demonstrate a high level of resilience, foresight and agility in managing the pandemic and eventually take the lead in the restart of international tourism.

“The resurgence in international arrivals demonstrates our commitment to a diversified market strategy, the ability of our tourism sector to adapt and respond with agility across all our markets, the enduring appeal of our world-class diverse offerings and the trust that visitors place in Dubai as a safe destination.

“The positive performance also validates the effectiveness of Dubai’s public-private partnership model and our robust international marketing campaigns designed to sustain Dubai’s appeal as the destination of choice for global travellers. The critical role played by our strategic partners such as Emirates, flydubai, Dubai Airports and other industry stakeholders, as they consistently conveyed the message that Dubai is open and safe for all travellers, contributed immensely towards industry stabilisation.”

During the July 2020-June 2021 period, Dubai held several international leisure events, as well as all major annual festivals and events including the much-awaited Dubai Summer Surprises (DSS), Dubai Fitness Challenge (DFC) and the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) with precautionary measures across the board.  The recent launch of the 24th edition of DSS will further amplify the city’s position as the summer destination of choice for families and a year-round international events hub.

Undoubtedly this year’s most anticipated event, Expo Dubai 2020 will open from 1 October and run to 31 March, 2022, after being pushed back by a year due to Covid-19. A treat for art aficionados, the first world fair to take place in the Middle East, will feature large-scale works by regional and international artists, including Hamra Abbas, Nadia Kaabi-Linke, Khalil Rabah, Olafur Eliasson, Yinka Shonibare and Haegue Yang. UAE artists featured include Afra Al Dhaheri, Shaikha Al Mazrou, Abdullah Al Saadi and Asma Belhamar.

Dubai also launched other pioneering projects and programmes that will support tourism growth, including the new Al Quoz Creative Zone, a dynamic hub for artists and designers. Several new developments are set to expand the diversity of Dubai’s offering including Ain Dubai, the world’s tallest observation wheel, and the Museum of the Future.

In short, Dubai’s tourism rebound is a result of its multi-pronged approach. There was a timely and comprehensive citywide management of the pandemic and the provision of a relief package worth AED7.1 billion combined with a phased and safe reopening of key sectors. Dubai Tourism’s strong collaborations with local stakeholders and international partners has also helped the industry chart a steady course for recovery.

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