Abu Dhabi has been named the fastest-growing “destination city of tomorrow” in the region by a global index.
Mastercard Global Destination Cities Index showed that the UAE capital had experienced tourism growth of 18.9 per cent between 2009 and last year and it was the fourth fastest growing city globally, behind Osaka, Changdu and Colombo.
Overall, Dubai was ranked fourth on the index, which is based on the number of international overnight visitors, with 14.87 million visitors, behind Bangkok (19.41m), London (19.06m) and Paris (15.45m). Growth in Dubai was forecast to be 7.7 per cent this year.
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“Being recognised as the fastest-growing destination city in the region is an incredible achievement. With the recently announced launch of the much-anticipated Louvre Abu Dhabi and cultural exhibitions such as Hajj: Memories of a Journey, the capital’s reputation as a destination of distinction continues to grow, building on the unique experiences and cultural heritage offered,” said Saif Saeed Ghobash, director general, of the Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism.
“Last year was a record-breaking year for the emirate of Abu Dhabi, welcoming 4.4 million visitors. Our year-on-year growth rate has been strong and, by the end of 2017, we are looking to reach our target of over 4.9 million visitors to the emirate.”