Dubai’s Tourism Sector Witnesses Unprecedented Growth in 2022

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Dubai received 14.36 million international overnight visitors in 2022, growing 97% YoY from the 7.28 million tourist arrivals in 2021, according to the latest data published by Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism (DET).

The growth, which enabled the emirate to surpass global and regional tourism recovery levels, contributes to the goal of the Dubai Economic Agenda D33 launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to consolidate Dubai’s status as one of the world’s top three cities for travel and business.

By closing in on its pre-pandemic visitation of 16.73 million in 2019, Dubai’s 2022 tourism performance further validated its ranking as the No.1 global destination in the Tripadvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards 2023 for the second successive year, only the second city in history to achieve the feat.

The latest data from the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) shows that global tourist travel in 2022 was 37% lower than 2019. The Middle East saw the strongest relative increase, with arrivals climbing to 83% of pre-pandemic numbers.

Dubai exceeded both global and regional barometers of recovery with visitors to the city in 2022 reaching 86% of pre-pandemic levels.

Dubai’s hotel sector, which continues to be integral to the emirate’s destination promise and the overall growth of the tourism industry, continued to perform strongly across all hospitality metrics.

Average occupancy for the hotel sector in 2022 stood at 73%, one of the highest in the world, rising from 67% in 2021. The figure is just short of the 75% occupancy in the pre-pandemic period of 2019.

The high occupancy is particularly noteworthy as it was achieved despite a 16% increase in room supply in 2022 compared to 2019.

Dubai’s hotel inventory at the end of December 2022 comprised of 146,496 rooms at 804 hotel establishments, compared to 126,120 rooms available at the end of December 2019 across 741 establishments.

The total number of hotels in 2022 marked a six percent growth over 2021, with 755 hotel establishments offering 137,950 rooms, figures that highlight the continued strong investor confidence in Dubai’s tourism sector.

The hotel sector outperformed pre-pandemic levels across all other key measurements – Occupied Room Nights, Average Daily Rate (ADR) and Revenue Per Available Room (RevPAR). Occupied room nights reached a record high of 37.43 million room nights in 2022, registering a 19% increase vs. 2021 (31.47 million) and a 17% increase over the pre-pandemic period of 2019, which yielded 32.11 million occupied room nights.

The ADR of AED536 in 2022 surpassed the ADRs for both 2021 (AED451) and 2019 (AED415), with 19% and 29% increases respectively. The hotel sector’s robust performance is also evident in its RevPAR growth – an increase of 30% compared to 2021 (AED391 v AED301) and an increase of 25% over the pre-pandemic period of 2019 (RevPAR of AED312).



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