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UAE: How Dubai became world's best tourist destination amid Covid – Khaleej Times

Wednesday, Jan 26, 2022 | Jamada Al-Aakhirah 23, 1443
Published: Mon 24 Jan 2022, 5:54 PM
Last updated: Mon 24 Jan 2022, 10:31 PM
Dubai’s ranking as the No.1 global destination in the Tripadvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards 2022 has given the city a milestone moment in the new year.
The ranking will also bolster its drive to achieve the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to make the Emirate the most visited destination and the best city to live and work in.
Dubai was voted #1 on the global list of Tripadvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards for Best Global Destination, the world’s #1 destination for city lovers and #4 destination for ‘Food Lovers’.
Winning the three accolades is a significant achievement for Dubai as the awards were determined by the quality and quantity of independent destination reviews and ratings from travellers across accommodation, restaurants and activities over 12 months from November 1, 2020, and October 31, 2021.
Helal Saeed Almarri, director-general, Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism (DET), said: “Inspired by the visionary leadership of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the city adopted a multi-pronged strategy to deal with the pandemic including a series of initiatives that further enhanced our global competitiveness and attractiveness as a multi-faceted destination. It is truly a proud moment for Dubai to be endorsed as the top global destination, reaffirming the decisive yet prudent measures taken by Dubai to safely navigate and accelerate out of this unprecedented global challenge.”
Almarri added that the achievement is a testament to the “dynamism, resilience and accessibility” of Dubai and its consistence in delivering the highest standards of service to all visitors.
“It also points to the growing collaboration between the Department of Economy and Tourism and its stakeholders and partners, both domestic and international, to position Dubai as a global hub for business and leisure, as well as building on its credentials as an international events destination with the success of Expo 2020 Dubai and the UAE’s Golden Jubilee celebrations,” he said.
As one of the first destinations in the world to close, then open and remain open, Dubai’s effective management of the pandemic and early initiative to lead the global tourism recovery restored travel confidence and positioned the city as one of the safest destinations.
The constant dialogue and cooperation between DET and stakeholders ensured that the ecosystem was aligned in collectively promoting Dubai as a must-visit destination, highlighting the diverse destination proposition and reinforcing the message that that the city is open and safe for domestic and global travellers.
Dubai also launched initiatives to ease barriers to entry for business and leisure travellers, as well as long-term residency initiatives that offer pathways for deeper engagement and longevity with Dubai.
These include the new visas and programmes such as golden visa targeting investors, entrepreneurs and specialised talents, the five-year multi-entry visa for employees of multinational companies, and the Virtual Working and Retire in Dubai programmes.
Issam Kazim, CEO, Dubai Corporation for Tourism & Commerce Marketing (DCTCM), said: “Dubai’s ability to evolve and adapt, and focus on a diversified approach to international markets have been critical in ensuring that the city continues to retain its position as the leading business and leisure destination and global liveability hub as envisioned by our visionary leadership.”
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Tourism growth in Dubai is gathering pace supported by a robust domestic market and growing confidence within the industry and among travellers, especially with the rollout of vaccinations and booster programmes around the world.
According to the latest data published by DET, Dubai welcomed over six million international visitors between January and November 2021, which surpasses the 5.5 million tourists who visited Dubai for the entire 2020.
During this 11-month period, 743 hotel establishments with over 136,000 rooms also opened their doors to guests, delivering strong occupancy levels of over 60 per cent, which is among the highest occupancy rates internationally.
Expo 2020 Dubai has also made a major contribution towards creating awareness of Dubai and drawing more visitors to the city. Since opening on October 1, 2020, Expo 2020 has attracted over 10 million visits by residents and global travellers.
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