posted on 16/06/2012: 753 views
Global travel poll shows Abu Dhabi and Dubai are among world's top spots.
International travellers are flocking to the UAE in their droves - with Dubai being named the world's eighth most visited city and Abu Dhabi the fourth fastest growing destination.
According to the 2012 Mastercard Global Destination City survey while the growth of economic output has declined this year, cross-border travel by air - both in terms of visitor numbers and their spending - is up.
And that's good news for the UAE, with Dubai - the most visited place in the Middle East - attracting 8.8 million travellers and Abu Dhabi 2.7 million.
Speaking at the launch of the data in Dubai yesterday, Dr Yuwa Hedrick-Wong, Mastercard's global economic advisor and a visiting professor at the Sauder School of Business, University of British Columbia in Canada, said: "Dubai has kept its capacity to retain travellers from developed market cities - even during hard economic times, they are still coming.”
He also believes a key aspect in Dubai's growth is its ability to attract the new middle class travellers from emerging economies - and is "confident” that's only going to get even bigger.
"The first thing they want to do is travel,” he said.
Dr Yuwa said part of the UAE's success is down to one key factor - its airlines and the fact it is directly accessible from many important hubs across the globe.
"Supply creates its own demand and Abu Dhabi has been very successful at that - as has Dubai, even more so in fact.”
London took top spot in Mastercard's global destination city index this year with nearly 17 million international visitors. – 7Days
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