Dubai has risen in a new list of the world’s top destinations for international travellers and is expected to welcome nearly 12 million visitors this year.
London topped the annual MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index for the third time in four years but Dubai rose two places to fifth globally, behind Bangkok, Paris and Singapore.
Visitor figures for the emirate this year represent an increase of 7.5 percent on 2013. This has helped boost the position of Dubai ahead of New York and Istanbul – both of which ranked higher than Dubai last year.
MasterCard added that Dubai is one of the fastest growing cities in the global top 10, and is on track to overtake Paris and Singapore within five years.
“We continue to see strong demand and interest in air travel, both for business and personal travel. Since 2009, cross-border air travel and associated spending has been growing faster than real world GDP,” said Dr Yuwa Hedrick-Wong, global economic advisor to MasterCard.
“This continued growth of travel across borders reflects a continued interest and desire for new cultural experiences from all geographies, including consumers from emerging markets who now have the financial ability to pursue these opportunities.”