Kolkata, July 30 (IANS) Dubai is aiming for 20 million visitors from around the globe by 2020 and is heavily banking on tourists from India, which is currently the country’s number one source market with 13 per cent of its total tourist share, a Dubai Tourism official said here on Monday.
“Our vision for year 2020 is to achieve 20 million visitors from all over the world. In terms of total tourist inflow in Dubai, we have reached the 16 million-mark in 2017. The Dubai Tourism is taking up multipronged strategies to grow that number,” Khalid Al Awar, the manager of India and Pakistan International Operations for Dubai Tourism, said on the sidelines of a city roadshow event here.
“India is Dubai’s number one source market in terms of visitors for the last two years. In 2017, we received 2.07 million visitors which is 13 per cent of the total international tourists in Dubai that year,” he said.
The official said India is also at the top in terms of growth in the number of tourists on a yearly basis with an increase of 15 per cent in 2017.
“The growth that we see from India is massive. India has become a hotbed for other destinations as well, but Dubai has a very special relationship with India. The tourist inflow from 2016 to 2017 from India to Dubai increased by 15 per cent while the overall growth was 6-7 per cent,” he said.
Pointing out that Dubai aims to become the biggest family tourism destination in the world, the official said the Tourism Department is taking certain initiatives like providing visa on arrival for the stopover visitors and waiving off visa charges for the minors.
“We are in the process to provide visa on arrival for those who stopover in Dubai for 48 hours. This will be implemented by the next couple of months. Our government is also planning to waive off visa fees for children below 18 years, who would come to Dubai between the months of July and September,” he said.
Talking about the favoured tourist destinations in Dubai, the official said the visitors are going for the new and diverse attractions in the country, along with the iconic destinations like the desert, Burj Khalifa and Palm Jumeirah.
“The newly launched theme parks in Dubai are gaining popularity. The ‘Six Flags’ which is a very famous adult targeted theme park with really exciting rides, is coming to Dubai. Also, there is the newly built ‘Dubai Frame’ that provides a bird’s eye view of the old Dubai at one side and the new skyline of Dubai on the other,” he said.
He also pointed out that Dubai is expecting big turnout from India during the Asia Cup cicket tournament in September this year that has the potential of having three India-Pakistan games and during the AFC Asian Cup football tournament where India will be participating.
The four city roadshows in India, having one of the biggest delegations from Dubai with 22 co-participants including airlines and hotel chains, kickstarted from Kolkata on Monday. The roadshows will also be held in Pune, Ahmadabad and Mumbai.