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Dubai Tops the Charts in Tourist Spending Globally

Dubai Tops the Charts in Tourist Spending Globally

With a strong annual tourist inflow, Dubai tops the charts for daily consumer spending by the tourists globally. A report published by MasterCard’s Global Destination Cities Index (GDCI) indicated that the numerous shopping centres and fashion brands were primarily influencers and led to tourists spending in Dubai.

Furthermore, the GDCI report stated that the tourists spent a cumulative amount of Dh113 billion (US$31 billion) during the year 2018, with the daily average spent estimated at Dh 2,030 (US$ 553) while the average length of stay in Dubai was 3.5 nights respectively. The city of Makkah was the second destination where tourist spent the most at Dh73.8 billion ($20.1 billion) in 2018, closely followed by Bangkok with Dh73.5 billion ($20 billion). Based on the reports from Dubai Chambers, the total consumer spending by the end of 2018 was estimated at Dh 723 billion ($ 197 billion) and is expected to reach Dh 958 billion ($ 261 billion) by 2021 at a growth rate of 7.5 per cent.

Likewise, for the fifth year running, Dubai continued to maintain the fourth position for the most visited cities in the world behind Paris (3rd), London (2nd) and Bangkok (1st). In 2018, Dubai hosted nearly 16 million visitors. In addition, Dubai welcomed 8.36 million international visitors in the first half of 2019 with a 3 per cent growth compared to the same period for 2018.

According to Chief Commercial Officer for EXPO 2020 – Sanjive Khosla, the visitor numbers are set to increase even further next year the government expect World EXPO to create both short and long term benefits for Dubai’s tourism industry while enhancing its reputation as a diverse global meeting destination.

As a result of government initiatives, Dubai’s tourism sector is fast becoming a major contributor to the economy with approximate contribution of 6-8 per cent and projected an annual growth rate of 2.2 per cent. The strong performance of the retail sector in Dubai, the consumer spending, tourist inflow and the spending capacity of the tourists that visit Dubai, provide an excellent opportunity for investment.


Research Konnection is a market research company in Dubai that assists local and international companies to set up or expand businesses in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and UAE. At Research Konnection, we specialize in Market ResearchFeasibility Studies and Business Plan Developments. Feel free to reach out to us on hello@researchkonnection.com



Author: Waqas Siddiqui
The author is the Managing Director of Research Konnection, a Dubai based market research and consulting firm that helps local and international companies to identify emerging business opportunities and successfully expand in the Gulf region. The author can be reached at waqas@researchkonnection.com