Everyone knows that people come to Dubai to spend money, but now we have proof. Every year, Mastercard ranks cities based on how many visitors go there and how much money they spend. This year, it ranked Dubai as the city where visitors spent the most money.
"The big surprise this year is Dubai's jump to the top rank in the world, reporting a total international visitor spending of USD 31.3 billion, a third higher than the second-ranked London, estimated at USD 19.8 billion," the report says.
Visitors’ spending in Dubai jumped 11 percent since 2015, so visitors who touched down in 2016 left with much lighter wallets. But Dubai also had fewer visitors than London did, with 15.3 million in the emirate versus London’s 19.9 million visitors.
"This also implies a much higher spending per international visitor per visit in Dubai, which is USD 2,050, compared with USD 994 in London," the report explains. So if your friends tell you that you spend too much money, just show them this report.
But Dubai is an emirate that is always striving for more – it was also the fourth most-visited city in the world this year, after Bangkok, London and Paris. That’s right, Dubai had more visitors than New York City.
People tended to visit Dubai between December and January, probably to ring in the new year with world-famous firework shows and pleasant weather. If you’re around during those months, prepare yourself for huge crowds in front of Burj Khalifa.
Within the Middle East and Africa, Dubai was the most popular destination this year, followed by Riyadh, which had almost 5 million visitors. Though Abu Dhabi was only the fourth most visited city on this list, it also had the most growth within the region – so now might be a good time to book a trip to Yas Island!