The UAE topped the list of most popular destinations worldwide among English- and Spanish-speaking tourists seeking a winter break in January, according to new data-tracking research published by digital marketer SEMrush.
According to the firm’s research, more than one million English-language internet searches were recorded relating to tourism in the UAE in January.
Popular search phrases relating to the UAE included 'mild climate haven' and 'a place away from the winter's cold weather'.
Internet queries relating to tourism options in the UAE also topped Spanish language travel searches. Spanish is the world’s fourth most-spoken language, with 527 million speakers. Mexico was the biggest source market for Spanish-language search queries relating to UAE tourism in January, followed by Spain, Argentina, Colombia, the United States, Venezuela, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Ecuador and Bolivia.
Dubai welcomed 1.61 million international arrivals in January, up from 1.59 million a year earlier. India retained its position as the city’s most important visitor source market with 206,000 arrivals, followed by Saudi Arabia (160,000), China (100,000), Oman (100,000) and the UK (87,000).
The Americas, encompassing North, Central and South America, accounted for 7% of total arrivals, compared to Western Europe’s 19%. English-speaking Australasia accounted for 2% of the total.
Dubai’s hotel sector also enjoyed a bumper January, with occupied room nights totalling 2.92 million, compared to 2.86 million in January 2018.
The average occupancy rate for the month was also an impressive 83% against a total guestroom inventory of 116,858, up from 107,717 a year earlier.
In 2018, Dubai welcomed 15.92 million visitors, setting a new benchmark for full-year visitor arrivals.
The city is on track to reach its target of 20 million visitors annually by 2020, the year it hosts the region’s first World Expo.