Dubai has retained its position as the fourth most popular travel destination in the world – and the top-ranked destination in the Middle East – according to the eighth annual Mastercard Global Destinations Cities Index, which ranked 132 global cities.
It was a good result for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) overall as Abu Dhabi – with a growth rate of 19.81 per cent – was rated the fastest growing city in the Middle East and Africa and the third fastest-growing city worldwide.
This marks the UAE out as both the most visited and fastest-growing country in the region for the second year in a row.
Bangkok topped this year’s list of the world’s most popular travel destinations, pushing London to second spot, with Paris and New York rounding off the top five.
According to the study, Dubai is expected to receive 15.27 million international visitors in 2016, an increase of 7.5 per cent over 2015. Forecasted overnight visitors to the Top 10 cities include:
- Bangkok – 21.47 million
- London – 19.88 million
- Paris – 18.03 million visitors
- Dubai – 15.27 million visitors
- New York – 12.75 million visitors
- Singapore – 12.11 million visitors
- Kuala Lumpur – 12.02 million visitors
- Istanbul – 11.95 million visitors
- Tokyo – 11.70 million visitors
- Seoul – 10.20 million visitors
The Index provides more than a ranking of the 132 most visited cities around the world. It projects visitor volume and spend estimates for the 2016 calendar year, while delivering a deeper understanding of how people travel and spend around the world.
As cross-border travel and spending continue to grow at a faster pace than the world GDP, the world’s cities continue to be engines of broader economic growth.