Dubai aims to double number of visitors by 2020 to 20 million per year

In a recent interview to, H.E Helal Almarri, director general of Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) confirms the strategy to double the number of visitors to Dubai by 2020, with a target of 20 million per year. “If you look at the growth figures for Dubai, and how we have doubled our numbers in the last eight years, well I think we can do that again. Everything is coming together in this city. It is becoming quite spectacular,” he says.

Almarri will be focusing on three key areas: making Dubai the world’s leading family destination, and pushing hard on the emirate’s attraction as both an events and business destination. “I think when you look at the potential for Dubai to be a premier family destination, the potential is huge. Dubai is not known today for its marine life but it’s actually spectacular. Fly fishing. Salt water. Even the number of birds close to an urban area. All these things, we have not had to push yet, but these things will come through,” he says.

Much of Almarri’s work in the coming years will be increase visitors from Dubai’s key markets, and to find new ones – China: in 2012 the number of visitors to Dubai grew by 28 percent to 248,000; India delivered 764,000 visitors, a 9 percent rise. It’s the reason why the DTCM has wasted no time opening new offices in both countries.

In South America, again a place that is a high growth market for us, much of it is business tourism, so we have to cater for that. That’s why we have just opened an office in Sao Paulo. We have customers everywhere, we have to make sure we can give them the offering they are looking for,”

Dubai skyline