Dubai attracted 8.41 million tourists in 2010 and 14.26 million in 2014. It is now the 4th most visited city (after London, Bangkok and Paris). The majority of tourists are Middle Eastern.
In 1968 only 13 cars were registered in Dubai; now there is enough congestion that double Decker buses are being installed to remove some of the traffic.
Dubai is a leading city for tourist spending with over US$11.6 million being spent in 2015.
- The first tourists came in 1892 when Dubai declared an exemption from taxing foreign traders; there is still a 0% income tax. This encourages the sale of holiday homes especially.
- Success of modern flight providers has increased accessibility.
- There are many one-off attractions such as the world’s largest aquarium and shopping centre.
- Historically, Middle Eastern states have been unstable but the UAE has become more stable in recent years, removing political deterrants
- Islamic law has become more lenient, allowing the drinking of alcohol and people wearing bikinis (although this is meant to be restricted to their own properties).
- An increase in living capacity has encouraged tourists to stay longer and closer to the city. By January 2015 there were 93,030 hotel rooms in Dubai.