Dubai welcomed 8.36 million international overnight visitors in the first six months of 2019, posting a positive three per cent in tourism volume growth compared to the same period last year. India once again led the pack, drawing the highest half year volumes with 997,000 visitors – particularly noteworthy given the severe air traffic and seat capacity challenges due to geopolitical volatilities.
India once again led the pack, drawing the highest half year volumes with 997,000 visitors – particularly noteworthy given the severe air traffic and seat capacity challenges due to geopolitical volatilities. Dubai continued to drive booking interest from Indians on a mass scale largely due to high-impact delivery of segment and season-specific campaigns across the most accessible Tier-1 and Tier-2 cities.
From focused ‘family’ or ‘couple’ oriented promotions to the Bollywood megastar Shah Rukh Khan-led global #BeMyGuest campaign, the Department’s investments yielded strong returns, with the latter alone surpassing all records, logging 160 million views in a short few weeks.
Additionally, at an audience penetration level, travel share of Indian families with children rose by a substantial 10 percentage points from 24 to 34 per cent, directly reflecting higher GDP impact due to party size and spend potential. With more than 30 in-market trade partnerships initiated in the first half of 2019 alone, Dubai Tourism’s confidence in, and commitment to India is further emphasised by strategic annual collaborations launched with the biggest names in the travel ecosystem – such as Thomas Cook, Cox & Kings and SOTC, as well as OTAs like MakeMyTrip and Goibibo.
Coming in strong as Dubai’s second largest feeder market once again, Saudi Arabia delivered 755,000 visitors at two per cent year-on-year growth over six months with a notable 4.9 per cent increase over the Eid break alone – signifying continued stability in Dubai’s attractiveness for Saudi families and millennials.
With the GCC as a whole, and Saudi Arabia (as its lead contributor), being key priorities on Dubai Tourism’s strategic agenda, investments in deepening alliances with the country’s travel ecosystem continued to increase in H1 2019, reflecting the value of such partnerships – particularly via consolidated marketing-promotions-sales programmes.