Dubai vis­i­tors are real big spenders

Tourists spend more here than any­where else, and boost pop­u­la­tion by 10 per cent

7 Days in Dubai - - FRONT PAGE - By Pa­trick Ryan @ThatPad­dyRyan

Vis­i­tors to Dubai out­spend tourists in other ma­jor cities across the globe.

And the huge in­flux of hol­i­day­mak­ers bol­sters the city’s pop­u­la­tion on av­er­age by 10 per cent, which equates to 500 peo­ple per sq km in the city.

The data was re­vealed in Core Sav­ills’ 12 Cities H2 re­port, which lays bare how cru­cial tourism is to the world’s top cities.

Ac­cord­ing to the study, vis­i­tors to Dubai in 2015 – the emi­rate can host an av­er­age of up to 210,000 tourists each day – spent a to­tal of $4.7 billion (Dhs17.2 billion) on food and bev­er­age and $9.7 billion (Dhs35.6 billion) on re­tail.

London had the sec­ond high­est spend with $3.26 billion (Dhs11.97 billion) on F&B and $9.23 billion (Dhs33.9) on re­tail.

The av­er­age spend by a tourist in Dubai is $2,050 (Dhs7,529). Syd­ney was next on $1,707 (Dhs6,270).

As for swelling the pop­u­la­tion of a city, only Paris scored higher than Dubai with daily vis­i­tors boost­ing pres­ence in the French cap­i­tal by 12 per cent.

David God­chaux, Core Sav­ills CEO, said the fig­ures are even higher than the re­port au­thors ex­pected. They used re­search by Sav­ills and financial data from Mastercard for the study.

He told 7DAYS: “Dubai has a pro­file as a lux­ury lo­ca­tion – ho­tels here by their na­ture are five-star and five-star ho­tels aren’t cheap.

“Even at that, I didn’t ex­pect the spend for tourists to be higher than New York and Paris com­bined.”

The re­port also found that Dubai has ex­pe­ri­enced a pop­u­la­tion growth rate of 59.1 per cent since 2008. The next step in Dubai’s growth is cre­at­ing an en­vi­ron­ment that en­cour­ages ex­pats to put down roots here longer-term, God­chaux added. He said: “One side of Dubai is all about be­ing the big­gest in the world to at­tract tourists. “But when you live here you don’t care that Dubai Mall is the big­gest in the world, you just want to get about your day. “That’s why there has been a shift in the mind­set to try and keep ex­pats rather than at­tract­ing new peo­ple.” He said a shift to­wards Euro­pean-style out­door street re­tail will be the next fo­cus. He said: “Just look at City Walk, you’ll see more ex­am­ples in a few years too. Jumeirah One is go­ing to be huge. You’ll see ex­am­ples of Euro­pean-style cities in­side a city to make sure peo­ple stay for longer.” The re­port said that while world cities are “great places” to live, work and play, they have their own chal­lenges. “It is no­table that the big­gest vis­i­tor cities are also the most ex­pen­sive for liv­ing and workspace – all this de­mand puts pres­sure on scarce land sup­ply,” the re­port added.

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