Growth in moneyed visitors to Dubai set to continue

Owners of rental property in Dubai are seeing a surge at the luxury end of the market as the desert state attracts more and more visitors from around the world with money to spend.

Australians, Brazilians and Russians are arriving in higher numbers than ever along with the traditional European visitors. And it is those with money to spend who are filling the ever increasing number of flights from all corners of the globe.

'Dubai now has a strong reputation as a luxury holiday destination and is appealing to affluent visitors,' said Frances Tuke of the Association of British Travel Agents.

According to official government figures, Dubai attracted more than six million holidaymakers in 2007. Tourism was said to account for about 18 per cent of its gross domestic product during this period.

Dubai's tourism department expects to see a surge of visitors from Brazil thanks to the introduction of new flights between the two countries.

Figures show there were 6,000 visitors from Brazil in 2006, just under 10,000 in 2007 but around 20,000 are expected in 2008. As a result the tourism department is planning to set up an office in Sao Paulo this summer.

'We monitor where visitors are coming from and there has been huge interest from Brazil. More Australians and Russians are coming and we have the traditional sector from Europe who realise that Dubai is effectively a short haul destination,' said Hamad Mohammed bin Meiren, head of the tourism department.

Industry analysts predict the growth will continue. 'The combination of increased airline services to Dubai and high-quality tourism offerings is attracting the globally minded leisure tourist and sophisticated business traveller,' said Jason Pereira, a senior associate at Globalysis whose most recent report on Dubai predicts that visitor arrivals will grow at approximately 8% in 2008.