Dubai posts sharp rise in Chinese tourists after visa-on-arrival policy
The Dubai tourism authorities said on Wednesday that the Chinese tourists to Dubai increased 41 percent to 764,000 in 2017 after the visa-on-arrival policy for the Chinese was implemented in late 2016.
Dubai attracted a total of 15.79 million international overnight visitors in 2017, posting a 6.2-percent increase compared to the 5-percent growth in 2016, the Dubai Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing (DTCM) said in an e-mailed press release.
"As the destination offering continues to evolve, maintaining momentum will be crucial as we look to remain on track to achieve our Tourism Vision 2020 goals," said DTCM Director General Helal Saeed Almarri.
Meanwhile, Dubai aims to attract between 20 million to 25 million visitors during the six-month world expo which will run from October 2020 until April 2021.
Most hotels and shopping malls in Dubai are ready to juice up their activities during the upcoming Spring Festival, or the Chinese Lunar New Year.
At the Dubai Airshow held in November last year, Tim Clark, the president of Dubai's government-controlled Emirates Airline, said the carrier is keen on expanding its destinations in the Chinese mainland in 2018 from the current five: Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Yinchuan and Zhengzhou.
The sheikdom of Dubai, known for the world's tallest mixed-use tower Burj Khalifa (829 meters) and its seven-star hotel Burj Al Arab, boasts 681 hotels and guest apartments by the end of 2017.
By the end of 2017, 107,431 hotel rooms and apartments were available across all overnight hospitality facilities in Dubai, up 4 percent year-on-year.