Dubai Tops the Chart on Tourist Spending Again

by Zaara 29, Jan 2020

According to the recent reports, visitors are spending more money in Dubai than any other city in the world. In the year 2017, Dubai recorded the highest international overnight visitor spend with tourists shelling out $29.7 billion according to the ranking of global cities by MasterCard. The Emirate has attracted the most consumption by tourists for the third year in a row, with a $537 daily spend, according to the MasterCard’s Global Destination Cities Index 2018, which assessed 162 cities. The report has also indicated that tourists have stayed on an average of 3.5 nights in Dubai.

Dubai, from last few decades has connected people from different parts of globe with a varied range of offerings for business travelers and leisure alike. It continues to flourish as a world-class destination as demonstrated by its status as the planet’s fourth most visited city in 2019.

Let us have a look at the table below to know the international overnight visitor spend in different cities in the year 2018:


Visitor Spend/Day (2017) (USD)

Forecast for 2018

Average Day Spend


29.70 billion




18.45 billion




17.45 billion




17.02 billion




16.36 billion



New York

16.10 billion





Although the data is a year old, the ranking for current year has been almost the same.

The striking visitor numbers are set to surge even further next year, as Dubai will welcome 192 nations for once-in-a-lifetime celebration at World Expo 2020 Dubai. With millions of visitors expected to come from outside the UAE, it is anticipated that the regions first-ever World Expo will create short and long-term profits for Dubai’s tourism industry while improving its reputation as a dynamic and varied global meeting point.

Dubai was also the 4th most visited city last year, according to the statistics, welcoming almost 16 million travelers. It was behind only London (3rd), Paris (2nd), and Bangkok on Number 1.

Numbers were also useful for other UAE destinations. Abu Dhabi was ranked as the fastest-growing city in the Middle East and Africa, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.7% between Ys 2009 and 2018 in overnight arrivals. Worldwide, MasterCard’s Global Destination Cities Index claims the number of international overnight visitors has grown by 76% since year 2009.

Dubai Travel and Tourism Scenario | Tourism Vision 2020

Certain countries of the Middle East have faced extraordinary tourism development challenges and continue to do so. Dubai, however, has demonstrated an ability to overcome any of these it shares and establish itself as a relatively popular destination with a high tourism growth rate. It is, therefore, an interesting example of a more successful Middle East tourism center that is creating new opportunities and realizing its potential.

As part of the Tourism Vision 2020, Dubai targets to double its visitor numbers and tourism revenue to 20 million people and almost £36bn in 2020. This motivated plan focuses on tapping high-potential markets, maintaining market share, and increasing repeat visitors to Dubai through the relaxation and business events sectors. The Emirate is working hard to endorse its year-round calendar of leisure events and grow its business and incentive tourism offer by capitalizing on its location and infrastructure.

What’s in It for You?

The increasing numbers is an excellent opportunity for entrepreneurs wanting to start a travel business in Dubai. With so many significant events coming to Dubai, one can tap undiscovered markets and earn their share of profits in less time. If you are interested in launching your travel startup then we at Commitbiz can help you with it. Our advisors will solve all your problems and set up your business in Dubai in no time. Contact us today – we’d glad to help!