About 182,000 people from Qatar visited Dubai last year, showing a rise of 32 percent compared to 2014.
Dubai is one of the most sought- after destinations for most residents in Qatar.
“Qatar has consistently ranked among Dubai’s top source markets for inbound tourism, and Dubai has long been a popular destination for travellers from the peninsula.
“The emirate welcomed more than 137,500 overnight visitors from Qatar in 2014 and the number rose 32 percent year on year to just shy of 182,000 in 2015,” Issam Abdul Rahim Kazim, CEO, Dubai Corporation for Tourism Marketing and Commerce, told The Peninsula.
“This upward trend has continued in 2016, with a 26 percent spike in visitor volumes in the first quarter of the year,” he added.
There are multiple reasons for Dubai being one of the most preferred destinations for the people of Qatar.
Compared to other countries, it is cheaper to go to Dubai due to its vicinity to Qatar. Another factor which attracts residents to Dubai is the number of its tourist attractions. Dubai has something for every kind of tourist — children, youth, middle aged and senior citizens.
“In addition to the geographical proximity between Qatar and Dubai, other factors that make the emirate attractive to the people of Qatar include affordable airline fares, partly due to a recent surge in low-cost regional carriers, a wide range of accommodation choices to suit families and travellers on every budget and streamlined entry to the UAE for GCC nationals,” said Issam.
Dubai a big draw for families
“Dubai is also a familiar destination, reflecting the strong, enduring relationship between Qatar and the emirate,” he added.
Dubai considers visitors from Qatar a key factor for its growing tourism sector.
“The Qatar market, and the broader GCC region, is and always has been an important and growing market for Dubai, playing a key role in our efforts to realise Dubai’s Tourism Vision for 2020, which aims to welcome 20 million visitors a year by the start of the next decade,” he said.
Issam said for GCC travellers in general, family-friendly attractions and experiences are of particular interest and importance, and this is an area of key focus for Dubai.
“Dubai’s family proposition is world-class, with an array of attractions for all ages, and we expect the openings of new theme parks later this year to enhance Dubai’s appeal, especially among families,” he said.
The Dubai Mall, Dubai Fountain, and the city’s heritage and cultural districts were the centre of attraction for visitors last year.
“Last year, 86 percent of the city’s tourists visited the Dubai Mall, 67 percent Dubai Fountain, 49 percent toured the city’s heritage and cultural districts, including Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood, Shindagha, Deira and Bur Dubai, 49 percent visited Dubai’s beaches and marine attractions and 33 percent took a trip to the Palm Jumeirah,” he said.
“Around 31 percent visited the Burj Khalifa, 19 percent the Burj Al Arab, 19 percent went on a desert safari, 11 percent stopped at one of Dubai’s two water parks — Wild Wadi and Aquaventure — and six percent visited indoor snow park Ski Dubai at Mall of the Emirates,” he added.