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Athanasios Tsetsonis - Sector Economist
Published Date: 30 November 2017
Passenger traffic at the Dubai International Airport (DXB) rose to 66.6 million in Jan-Sep 2017, up by 5.8% y/y. In September alone, 7.2mn passengers passed through DXB, up by 1.7% y/y. Passenger traffic is expected to exceed 89 million at DXB by the end of 2017, according to Dubai Airports. Separately, freight volumes at DXB also increased by 5.8% y/y in September 2017 to 217,120 tons. Year to date volumes totaled 1,954,797 tons, up by 3.4% over Jan-Sep 2016.
South America was the fastest growing region in Jan-Sep 2017, up by 46.2% y/y, followed by Eastern Europe (18.6% y/y) and East Asia (15.7% y/y). India remained DXB’s biggest market with a total of 931,193 passengers for the same period. UK ranked second with 548,762 passengers marginally overtaking Saudi Arabia with 536,187 passengers. London topped the list of destination cities, followed by Kuwait and Mumbai.
Source: Bloomberg, Dubai Airports, Emirates NBD Research
The number of tourists coming to Dubai and staying in hotels including holiday rentals and onboard cruise ships for at least one night reached 10.4mn in Jan-Aug 2017, up by 8.2% compared with the same period last year. GCC was the lead tourist source for Jan-Aug, accounting for 21.0% of the total figure, followed by Western Europe (20.0%) and South Asia (18.0%). In terms of country specific volumes, India remained Dubai’s top source market with 1.3mn tourists, an increase of 21.3% y/y. Saudi Arabia ranked second with 1.1mn tourists (-2.3% y/y) followed by UK with 815,000 tourists (2.1%), Oman with 588,000 tourists (-25.0% y/y) and China with 522,000 tourists (50.4% y/y).
Source: Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), Emirates NBD Research
The recent regulatory changes granting Chinese and Russian citizens free visa-on-arrival to the UAE is still evident in the sustained growth of these markets with 50.4% and 94.8% growth respectively over the first eight months of 2016. As a result, China recorded 522,000 visitors ranked fifth, while Russia is just two places short of the top 10 list with 263,000 visitors.
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