Dubai attracted 13.2 million foreigner visitors in 2014

A total of 13.2 million foreigners headed to Dubai in 2014, an increase of 8.2% compared with the previous year, its tourism department said.

It said it hoped to attract 20 million tourists a year to Dubai by 2020, when the city will host a World Expo. Figures released in March showed that hotels in the emirate posted a 9.8% rise in revenues to $6.5 billion (5.8 billion euros) last year — the sector’s best annual result since the 2009 financial crisis.

Turmoil in most of the traditional tourism destinations across the Middle East appears to have helped Dubai capitalise on its reputation as a safe haven for tourists and businesses.

Dubai’s economy contracted 2.4% in 2009 when it rattled global markets over its debt crisis before receiving a $10-billion bailout from Abu Dhabi and reaching restructuring deals with lenders.

Dubai skyline