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UAE sees spike in Saudi visitor numbers: report

DUBAI, February 23, 2020

The number of travellers visiting the UAE from Saudi Arabia grew significantly in the fourth quarter of 2019, according to the latest data compiled by Expedia Group.

Recent data shows that Saudi Arabia is one of the highest traffic volume generators for the GCC with over 1.25 million visitors. Dubai is further emphasising its priority focus on Saudi families, tourism campaigns, and promotions, ensuring that the city’s custom line-up of events, entertainment, and lifestyle offerings for Saudi Arabia are always relevant and accessible for this segment of the market. 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 continue to increase, reflecting the value of such partnerships – particularly via integrated marketing and sales activations.

There is significant continued stability in Dubai’s attractiveness for Saudi millennials. The increasing number of hotels means that prices for premium accommodation are competitive and affordable for millennials visiting Dubai on long or short term basis. In addition, the rise of the short-term rentals industry in Dubai means that Saudi millennials have a wider choice of accommodation options. Travellers are also willing to pay a higher price for the luxury of personalised service at high-end hotels so as not to compromise on the luxury hotel experience during their holiday.

With its luxury hotels, serviced apartments, and residences, Dubai is able to accommodate large families and groups of people travelling together. According to data released by Arabian Travel Market 2018, the UAE has 73 per cent of the region’s luxury properties, and will continue to lead the GCC’s luxury segment to 2022. Dubai Tourism Statistics further backs up this data through a report released in 2019 that shows that as of 2019, Dubai had a total number of 717 hotels and hotel apartment buildings for accommodation, with 118,039 rooms available. These reports provide a clear indication that Saudi Arabian tourists visiting Dubai are spoilt for choice with luxury accommodations. The robust increase in travel by families from key markets, and specifically from Saudi Arabia, exemplifies Dubai’s growing appeal as a year-round ‘must-visit’ family destination.

Paula de Keijzer, senior director market management, Africa, Indian Ocean, Middle East and Turkey at Expedia Group, said: “With upcoming Expo 2020, UAE is expected to see a major boost in visitors from the GCC countries, with a majority from Saudi Arabia. By making revenue management more accessible which is free to all our lodging partners, Expedia Group’s revenue management tool Rev+ will help hoteliers make informed decisions and potentially increase their revenue performance." - TradeArabia News Service




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