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Dubai tourism chiefs have reported a sharp increase in summer visitor numbers from the UK as they continue to chase ambitious growth targets?.
Speaking at Dubai Tourism’s first Gala Dinner at London’s Banqueting House on Thursday, Marc Bennett, senior vice-president of international operations, said the emirate had welcomed 94,000 visitors from the UK in August, a 32% increase on the same month in 2014.
The figure was particularly notable as August 2014 had seen 27% growth on the previous year, Bennett said.
He added: “Yes, it is hot (in August), but the affordability of luxury accommodation makes it very, very attractive.”
?Dubai Tourism has been charged with attracting 20 million international visitors by 2020, with the UK office targeting two million annual visitors.
Bennett said the expansion of Dubai’s second airport and a growth in the number of hotel beds from 94,000 currently to 150,000 by 2020 meant that both targets were achievable.
He added: “Every asset is in place to achieve two million visitors from the UK.
“At the beginning of the global crisis in 2008, Dubai had only 50,000 rooms, but part of the secret of continued growth is bravery and having the courage of your convictions to be ready when times are better.”
?Although full figures from last year are not yet available, Dubai Tourism confirmed that more than one million UK visitors contributed to an overall international visitor record of 13.2 million.
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