Dubai attracted 1.8 million overnight visitors from India in 2016, recording a 12 per cent growth over the previous year to become the number one source market in South Asia.
The country hosted 1.6 million Indian travellers in 2015, according to data from Dubai Tourism.
Data also revealed that overall worldwide, Dubai attracted 14.9 million overnight visitors in 2016, recording five per cent increase over 2015. Overall Dubai attracted more than 14.2 million overnight visitors in 2015.
"Expectations on tourism growth from India remain high for 2017 with even stronger bilateral ties being forged between the UAE and India," a release issued here said.
The strong performance of the Emirates tourism industry amid turbulent year across the world indicates that progress towards the annual target of 20 million visitors by 2020, is on track, it added.
With our international overnight traffic reaching 14.9 million, Dubai has cemented its ranking as the fourth most visited city in the world, critically delivering the highest value to the domestic economy with the country getting number one ranking in terms of spend per tourist compared to any other competitor destination, Dubai Tourism Director General Helal Saeed Almarri said.
"The effectiveness of our three-pronged approach is evidenced by the encouraging 13 per cent growth in volumes from South Asia led by India, despite the demonetisation and cash pressures facing the market. Similarly, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) remained the dominant market within the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), bringing first time and significant repeat travellers to Dubai," he added.
Highlights of 2016, also include the massive 20 per cent boost in Chinese visitors, crossing the half million mark for the first time with 5,40,000 tourists arriving in Dubai and the definitive resurgence of Russian inbound tourism recording a 14 per cent growth in overnight traffic, he said.
"Our traditional core markets spanning the GCC, India, UK and Germany, continue to deliver over 40 per cent of our tourism traffic and we remain committed to investing further in driving greater penetration and frequency from these bases where we have built a credible recognition of the Dubai destination offering," he said.
Almarri said infrastructure, accommodation, air connectivity, access and policy enablers continue to be the facilitating levers that ensure Dubai remains price competitive and hugely attractive for a broad range of global travellers.