Dubai has been named among the top 10 most visited destinations once again and comes in at sixth place. According to Euromonitor International's Top 100 City Destinations Ranking 2017, Dubai was the only Middle East city in the top 10 and with 14.9 million visitors was positioned ahead of Paris and New York.
The rankings announced at World Travel Market in London, also ranked the Saudi holy city of Makkah in the top 20. Other Gulf cities included in the top 100 included Makkah (19), Riyadh (41), Doha (64) and Abu Dhabi (99).
Globally, the list was topped by Hong Kong, which attracted 26.6 million visitors, followed by Bangkok, London, Singapore and Macau.
According to the report, Asian cities dominated the global destination rankings thanks to the unstoppable rise of Chinese outbound tourism demand. In 2010, 34 cities from Asia Pacific were present in Euromonitor International’s ranking. This jumped to 41 cities in 2017 and is expected to grow to 47 cities in 2025.
However, the report adds that performance in the MENA region has fluctuated greatly in recent years, but Euromonitor forecast data show a recovery for the region in 2017 and beyond. Most noteworthy, it is expected that Egypt will register growth in 2017, after a strong decline in 2016. While the Middle East and North Africa’s main challenges are wars and border disputes, Africa is looking to do the reverse: opening borders and enhancing collaboration with the African Union’s plans towards seamless border. African leaders are seeing travel and tourism as a way to boost the economic prosperity of the continent.
The top ten most visited cities are:
1. HONG KONG: 26.6 MILLION VISITORS
2. BANGKOK: 21.2 MILLION VISITORS
3. LONDON: 19.2 MILLION VISITORS
4. SINGAPORE: 16.6 MILLION VISITORS
5. MACAU: 15.4 MILLION VISITORS
6. DUBAI: 14.9 MILLION VISITORS
7. PARIS: 14.4 MILLION VISITORS
8. NEW YORK: 12.7 MILLION VISITORS
9. SHENZHEN: 12.6 MILLION VISITORS
10. KUALA LUMPUR: 12.3 MILLION VISITORS
Source: Euromonitor International