Dubai Achieves Record Tourism Performance in 2023

Dubai Achieves Record Tourism Performance in 2023

Dubai achieved its best-ever annual tourism performance in 2023, welcoming 17.15 million international overnight visitors. This marks a 19.4% increase from the 14.36 million tourists in 2022 and surpasses the pre-pandemic record of 16.73 million visitors in 2019.

Strategic Growth and Economic Agenda

This growth aligns with the Dubai Economic Agenda D33, launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. The agenda aims to establish Dubai as a top global city for business and leisure, and the best city to visit, live, and work in.

Leadership and Vision

His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Crown Prince, credited the record performance to the vision and commitment of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. The focus on resilience, excellence, innovation, and public-private partnerships has transformed Dubai’s tourism sector.

Diverse Tourism Experiences

Dubai’s ability to offer diverse and novel travel experiences has been key to its success. The city has outperformed pre-pandemic levels, marking it as a vibrant growth focal point in global tourism.

Global Recognition

In 2023, Dubai was ranked the No.1 global destination for the third consecutive year in the TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Awards. The recognition underscores the city’s world-class infrastructure, exceptional service, and government-private sector collaboration.

Economic Impact and Tourism Statistics

Tourism’s performance parallels Dubai’s 3.3% GDP growth in the first nine months of 2023. Accommodation and food services saw an 11.1% growth, reinforcing Dubai’s position as a global tourism leader. The Middle East, particularly Dubai, outperformed global tourism recovery trends, achieving 22% visitation growth above 2019 levels.

Leadership Statements

Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General of Dubai DET, emphasized the role of strategic leadership in Dubai’s tourism rebound, highlighting the decade-long strategy and successful public-private partnerships that have driven growth and resilience.

Visitor Demographics

Dubai maintained its appeal as a top travel destination for visitors from traditional and emerging markets. The GCC and MENA regions accounted for 28% of visitors, with Western Europe and South Asia contributing 19% and 18%, respectively. CIS/Eastern Europe, North Asia, South-East Asia, the Americas, Africa, and Australasia also showed significant visitor shares.

Hospitality Sector Performance

Dubai’s hotel sector outperformed pre-pandemic levels, with an average occupancy rate of 77.4% in 2023. The city reached a milestone of 150,000 room keys and recorded 41.70 million occupied room nights, a 30% increase from 2019. The Average Daily Rate (ADR) and Revenue Per Available Room (RevPAR) also showed substantial growth.

Commitment to Excellence

Issam Kazim, CEO of DCTCM, highlighted the role of the D33 Agenda in driving Dubai’s growth. The city’s top ranking in global indices and the support of public and private partners have been pivotal in sustaining tourism success and converting visitors into long-term residents.

Livability and Global Recognition

Dubai was named the No.1 city for relocation by Remitly in 2023 and the best city for remote workers by Savills. The city was also ranked No.2 in Euromonitor International’s Top 100 City Destinations Index and featured in the top 10 of the Global Power City Index.

Strategic Partnerships and Events

Dubai entered a landmark collaboration with Real Madrid Club de Fútbol and hosted record-breaking stunts and performances. The city’s year-round event calendar includes the Dubai Shopping Festival, major exhibitions like Gulfood and Gitex Global, and a vibrant gastronomy scene with Michelin and Gault Millau-recognized restaurants.

Sustainability Initiatives

Dubai leads in sustainability, with initiatives like the Dubai Sustainable Tourism Stamp and the Dubai Can project. The city hosted COP28, enhancing its sustainability profile.

Cruise and Yacht Tourism

Dubai’s cruise season saw significant growth, with luxury liners docking at key terminals. The city’s marina infrastructure supports a thriving yacht tourism sector, attracting global yachts and pleasure crafts.

Future Growth Initiatives

The Dubai Master Plan for Public Beaches aims to increase public beach length and services by 2040. The Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan will expand green and leisure areas, safeguard cultural heritage, and provide sustainable mobility options.

Outlook for 2024

Building on the record performance of 2023, Dubai anticipates further growth in 2024. With continued strategic initiatives, enhancements in infrastructure, and a robust calendar of events, Dubai is poised to attract even more international visitors, reinforcing its status as a premier global destination for living, visiting, and conducting business.


Dubai’s record tourism performance in 2023 highlights the city’s strategic growth, innovative leadership, and commitment to offering diverse, world-class experiences. As Dubai continues to attract international visitors, it reinforces its status as a premier global destination for living, visiting, and conducting business.