Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 June 2019

Abu Dhabi tourism grows in 2018 to 10.27 million boosted by Indian and Chinese travellers

India, China and UK are the top source markets

Abu Dhabi hosted more than 10 million international visitors in 2018. Chris Whiteoak / The National
Abu Dhabi hosted more than 10 million international visitors in 2018. Chris Whiteoak / The National

Abu Dhabi's international visitor numbers rose last year, buoyed by tourists from India and China, as the capital adds to its cultural and entertainment offerings.

The UAE capital hosted 10.27 million visitors in 2018 with growth across a range of sectors, Abu Dhabi's Department of Culture and Tourism said without providing a comparative figure. More than 350,000 cruise visitors docked at its shores and more than 2.6 million people visited its cultural sites.

"We will continue to push for growth, and are working toward the introduction of further landmark initiatives and attractions in the coming years that will cement Abu Dhabi’s position as one of the fastest-growing destinations in the region in the last three years," said Mohamed Al Mubarak, chairman of DCT Abu Dhabi.

Abu Dhabi is seeking to grow its tourism sector as part of a push to diversify the economy and reduce reliance on oil revenues. The capital is looking to boost the number of visitors across the business, medical, cultural and cruise tourism sectors. In addition to Louvre Abu Dhabi, the emirate also reopened its oldest building, the Qasr Al Hosn fort site, as a museum.

India, China and the UK remained the top three source markets for tourists into Abu Dhabi in 2018, according to the DCT.

The emirate recorded double-digit growth in the number of hotel guests from the three markets, it said, without providing figures.

Dubai had 15.92 million visitors in 2018, up 0.8 per cent from a year earlier, according to official figures released earlier this month. India retained its spot as the emirate's top source market with more than 2 million travellers, according to Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing.

Updated: February 27, 2019 02:46 PM

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