Dubai eyes UK and Ireland
Britain and Ireland together remained the strongest European source markets to Dubai in 2002. The hotel and hotel apartment business recorded 454,378 visitors from these places.The year on year growth in visitors from the UK and Ireland was 27.8 per cent in 2002, a significant increase when compared with the 15.6 per cent rise seen in 2001. The Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing's latest worldwide visitor statistics for 2002 demonstrate a staggering 31.1 per cent growth to exceed 4.7 million. This is the 14th consecutive annual rise with 447,006 of these visitors originating from the UK and 7,372 from Ireland. A recent World Tourism Organization report stated that Dubai experienced the world's highest growth rate of international visitors during 2002 (31.1 per cent) and the destination received 0.7 per cent of the 715 million international tourists in that year. Bärbel Kirchner, director of the UK and Ireland office of the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), said that the surge in demand is a reflection of Dubai's combination of the many and diverse attractions of a tourist destination with the facilities and services of one of the world's major international business centres. With extensive product and infrastructure developments, ambitious - though realistic - long-term targets for worldwide visitor arrivals to Dubai are 15 million by 2010. The emirate is now well-positioned and recognised as a destination in its own right, offering the visitor a complete and safe holiday experience, added Kirchner.