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Dubai continues to strengthen its position as one of the most popular destinations for high-net-worth Chinese travellers, rising from eighth place last year to third place this year, according to a study by the Hurun Report in association with ILTM Asia and The Chinese Luxury 7raveller 2014.
The study also stated that 10 per cent of those surveyed named Dubai as a must-visit destination in the next three years and placed the UAE within the top ten most popular countries for shopping.
China was one of the top ten source markets for visitors to Dubai last year. The emirate welcomed 275,675 visitors from China, an increase of 11 per cent compared to 2012, as the market remains a key focus for Dubai's Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM).
"The continual increase in guests from China can be attributed both to the emerging middle class and increasing propensity for people from China to travel overseas and to the focus of DTCM and our partners on growing this high-potential market," said Issam Kazim, CEO of the Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing. "With sightseeing and shopping high on the agenda of Chinese leisure travellers, Dubai is an ideal destination. For business travellers, the emirate provides access to the wider Middle East, North America, South Asia region and also to the markets of Africa and South America.
"Dubai also offers the largest Chinese trading hub outside of China – Dragon Mart, with plans for expansion currently underway."
Direct flights to key cities in China have also helped attract more Chinese travelers to the emirate.
Barry Brown, Divisional Senior Vice-President of Commercial Operations East at Emirates Airlines, said: "Emirates' 3S weekly services to Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou are operating at maximum capacity. Market access permitting we are committed to further expanding the connectivity between China and Dubai via additional services and launching new routes to cities."
Rob Weeden, Vice-President of Sales and Marketing at Shangri-La, said: "Dubai and the UAE enjoy a wonderful portfolio of unique tourism attributes that lend to the development of bespoke travel arrangements and bragging rights for the Chιnese traveller. We are also seeing business travel increasing with Dubai becoming the midway point.
"Dubai hoteliers and tourism service providers have made significant advances in engineering the tourism product and service delivery to ensure we cater to the needs of the Chinese traveller."
Source: Property Weekly