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Arabian Travel Market Arabian Travel Market

Russia Becomes Dubai's Second-Largest Source Market in 2021

Russia has grown to become the second-largest source market for Dubai’s travel and tourism sector in 2021, climbing from eighth place in last year’s rankings.

This is according to data released ahead of the next edition of Arabian Travel Market (ATM), which will take place at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) from May 09-12.

Commissioned by Reed Exhibitions (RX), the organisers of ATM 2022, the Colliers report concluded that the UAE is also likely to retain its status as the preferred GCC destination for Russian visitors over the longer term, accounting for more than 90% of inbound arrivals in 2026.

In addition to the volume of inbound visitors to the UAE, the average spend of Russian travellers is expected to grow significantly between 2021 and 2026, increasing by USD85 to reach approximately USD1,280 per person during this period. Consequently, the Russian market is on course to surpass USD1 billion for the Emirates within the next four years.

Danielle Curtis, exhibition director ME, ATM, said, “The latest figures from Colliers demonstrate that visitors from Russia are playing – and will continue to play – an important role for our region’s travel sector, especially when it comes to the UAE. The fact that Dubai was among the first destinations to open its borders to Russian travellers without the need to quarantine has no doubt been a significant factor in the sustained levels of visitation, with 296,000 inbound arrivals to the emirate in 2020. Encouragingly, 2021 numbers look set to surpass that figure, with Dubai having welcomed 256,000 visitors from Russia as of the third quarter of the year.”

The Russian market’s average length of stay (ALoS) saw a year-on-year uptick of 74,5 percent in the fourth quarter (Q4) 2020, growing to 8.2 nights from the 4.7 nights recorded during the corresponding period of the previous year.

Despite ALoS expected to decline gradually in the future as new regional destinations continue to emerge, Colliers researchers predict that drivers such as Expo 2020 Dubai and spillover demand from FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 will boost inbound arrivals from Russia by 170 percent in the short term.