According to Jing Travel a major regional marketing push by the UAE and other Gulf nations is underway, aiming welcome 2.9 million Chinese tourists annually by 2022, an 81% increase from the total in 2018. As the top destination in the Middle East for Chinese travellers, attracting 800,000 tourists from China in 2018, Dubai is predicted to benefit most. This may also increase the flow of Chinese medical travellers to the country.
Gulf nations have seen a massive increase in Chinese tourism in recent years, says Jing Travel, in part because the United Arab Emirates (UAE) began catering to China’s high-end traveler years before other destinations caught on.
The article says that this year for example, Jumeirah Hotels and Resorts marks its 10th year of Chinese New Year events at its luxury Dubai and Abu Dhabi properties. Jumeriah’s 10 hotels in Dubai and Abu Dhabi welcomed 212,000 Chinese guests in 2017 and they attracted 16,939 guests during the 2018 lunar festival. Dubai airport is also launching a “China-ready” campaign to spur retail consumption amid the tourist influx. It’s all part of a huge regional marketing push by the UAE and other Gulf nations to welcome 2.9 million Chinese tourists annually by 2022, an 81% increase from the total in 2018.
Dubai itself will host a month of Chinese New Year activities, which Hala China claims will be the largest celebrations outside China. Several top tourist destinations will be elaborately decorated for the holiday and some of the events will encourage visitors to spend on experiences rather than souvenirs during their stay in the city.
In first 11 months of 2018, Dubai hosted 800,000 Chinese tourists, an increase of 12% from the same period in 2017. Dubai is expected to benefit the most from the marketing push as it is the top destination in the Middle East for Chinese travelers, particularly those journeying to the region for the first time.
According to the Dubai Health Authority, the city is aiming for 1m medical tourists by 2020. For a more detailed analysis of the medical travel sector in the UAE, visit the IMTJ Country Profile.