Dubai aims to become the world's most visited city
Expecting around 20 million annual visitors in six years time
After one year of Dubai's Tourism Vision for 2020, in line with its successful Expo 2020 bid, significant first steps have been taken to achieve the target of attracting 20 million annual visitors by 2020, leading the tourism authority in the city to officially declare its official goal.
Director-general of Dubai's Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) Helal Saeed Almarri has said that if a growth rate similar to that achieved in 2013 is maintained, Dubai is on course to overtake London – which currently attracts 16 million tourists annually.
"Since His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum announced the Tourism Vision for 2020 at last year's Arabian Travel Market (ATM), the UAE has won the right to host Expo 2020 in Dubai; the first phase of our second international airport has opened at Dubai World Central and a substantial number of new hotels, attractions and events have opened, taken place or been announced.
In a statement this week, he explains, "Further, in addition to UAE federal pre-entry visa regulations on European Union member states being lifted, major legislative changes have been made which will directly and positively impact the tourism sector and enable us to attract more business and leisure travellers.
The Tourism Vision for 2020 is a framework which gives all of us in the tourism industry a clear and collective focus... while the city is already seen as a must-visit destination, a continuous drive to innovate will lead to a constant reinvention of the visitor experience, creating one that is unrivalled anywhere else in the world.
It is this collective industry commitment that makes us confident that we will be able to achieve our targets of attracting 20 million annual visitors by 2020, and inspires the ambition to eventually become the world's most visited city." Almarri concluded.
The plans also include a website, app and social media platforms which have been designed to attract and inform visitors and help them plan their trip and experience the city during their visit.