International Overnight Tourists in Dubai Cross 7.1 Million in First Half of 2022

International Overnight Tourists in Dubai Cross 7.1 million in the First Half of 2022

During the first half of 2022, Dubai received over 7.12 million international overnight visitors. The number of tourists that visit Dubai are now reaching pre-pandemic levels, with an estimated annual growth of more than 183% for the same period. In the first half of 2021, Dubai saw international visitors of over 2.5 million tourists. The number of tourists recorded in the first half of 2022 is almost similar to the numbers achieved in the first half of 2019, which was around 8.36 million tourists. The government of Dubai media office mentioned that the Emirate’s ability to quickly return to the pre-pandemic tourism level is remarkable, despite the unprecedented challenges that it faced.

Similarly, data from Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism revealed that the hotel occupancy rate exceeded 74% in the first half of 2022, which is one of the highest in the world. The rapid rise in international tourist arrivals puts Dubai on track to achieve its ambitious target of becoming the world’s most visited destination. In the years ahead, Dubai will continue to develop itself further as a destination that offers compelling value to international travelers.

Read: Dubai – World’s Most Popular Travel & Tourism Destination

Dubai International Visitors – Geographic Distribution

The tourists from Western Europe accounted for a significant share which was estimated to be 22% of total international visitors in the first half of 2022. MENA (Middle East and North Africa) and GCC provided a significant contribution to international visitors and collectively contributed 34%. These regions were followed closely by South Asia, with a share of 16%, and Russia, CommonWealth, and Eastern Europe together accounting for 11%. 

The wide geographic distribution of visitors reflects Dubai’s diversified strategy which focuses on increasing international tourists from a broad spectrum of countries and visitor segments, mitigating the risks associated with over-reliance on any one region. This also reflects the success of destination marketing campaigns delivering customized messaging across specialized audience-specific platforms.

Dubai Hotel Occupancy Rate – First Half of 2022

It is estimated that there was a 75% average occupancy for the hotel sector in the first half of 2022. This was almost similar to the occupancy rate during the pre-pandemic time for the same period in 2019. However, it is to be noted that this occupancy rate was achieved in spite of a 19% increase in room capacity over the same period in 2019. Dubai’s hotel inventory by the end of first half in 2022 comprised 140,778 rooms open at 773 hotel establishments, compared to 118,345 rooms available at the end of June 2019 across 714 establishments.

Meanwhile, the total number of hotels in the first half of 2022 saw an 8% growth when compared to the first half of 2021, highlighting continued strong investor confidence in Dubai’s tourism sector. The hotel sector outperformed pre-pandemic levels across all other key measurements – Occupied Room Nights, Average Daily Rate, and Revenue per Available Room. Dubai hotel establishments delivered a combined 18.47 million occupied room nights during the first six months of the year, a 30.4% annual growth, and 18% increase over the pre-pandemic period of the first half of 2019.

Read: Dubai to Launch 50 Offices Globally to Promote Commerce and Attract Investments 

Dubai Tourism Outlook – 2022

Dubai continues to be a preferred destination for travelers as the Emirate has adapted quickly to change – both of which have undoubtedly helped the hospitality and travel sector begin its journey to recovery. The emirate was ranked the number 1 global destination in Tripadvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards 2022. Last month, the emirate topped the list of most popular city breaks around the world, according to a study by the hotel chain Premier Inn. 

Similarly, TikTok Travel Index 2022 rated the city the most-viewed destination on the popular social media platform, with views for videos featuring the hashtag ‘Dubai’ totaling over 81.8 billion. The Dubai government will continue to play an active role in supporting the tourism sector and ensuring that Dubai continues to be an attractive tourist destination among international travelers in the post-COVID-19 era. 

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Author: Waqas Siddiqui
I am passionate about supporting businesses in successfully expanding in the UAE and Gulf region. I can be reached at for research inquiries.