Dubai tops global list of tourist spending

Visitors splashed out an eye-watering Dh104.7 billion in the emirate in 2016

Dubai has been ranked the most popular city for tourists to spend their holiday cash in a MasterCard survey.
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Tourists dropping into Dubai spent an astonishing US$28.5 billion (Dh104.7b) in 2016, ranking it number one for city spending.

Sun seekers heading to emirate spent almost twice as much as those tourists landing in New York, London or Singapore.

The annual MasterCard Destination Cities Index shows tourists splash the cash in Dubai more than anywhere else in the world, despite ranking just fourth on the list of overnight visitors, behind Bangkok, London and Paris.

Dubai’s reputation as the heart of shopping in the Middle East has been confirmed in a table of data that showed overnight visitor-spend reached a staggering US$28.5 billion last year.

Second on that list came New York, where tourists splashed out US$17.02 billion (Dh62.4b), while third place was secured by London – where visitors went on a US$16.09 billion (Dh58.7b) spending spree in 2016.

Singapore made up the top four, as the city encouraged tourists to part with holiday cash worth US$15.69 billion (Dh57.6b).


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The impressive figure spent in Dubai is expected to grow by a further 10 per cent in 2017, as more tourists flock to more than 70 malls now open for business.

Further attractions are also planned to open later this year to bring in even more visitors, including Dubai Safari, the Dubai Frame and the 201-metre-high Dubai Eye wheel opening near Jumeirah Beach Residence.

More than half of cities featured in MasterCard’s index report experienced an increase in spending since 2009, either consistent with or greater than GDP growth.