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Dubai welcomed 8.36 million international overnight visitors in the first six months of 2019, posting 3 percent in tourism volume growth compared to the same period last year, according to the latest data released by Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism).

The new figures reinforce the continued strength of Dubai’s tourism sector as a key driver of economic diversification and a reliable catalyst for GDP acceleration through 2020. The largest traffic generators as well as newer high-potential segments have set a strong preparatory pace to fuel Dubai’s climb to becoming the most visited global destination.

India once again led the pack, drawing the highest half year volumes with 997,000 visitors. Staying firmly within Dubai’s top three traffic drivers, the UK delivered 586,000 travelers. Finally, with over 501,000 Chinese visitors to Dubai from January to June 2019, the stellar 11 per cent year-on-year growth is testament to Dubai Tourism’s successful strategies to maintain high conversion appeal for China’s outbound market.

Green plans

Dubai has revealed its plans for greenery and water features for Expo 2020 Dubai, which begins in October 2020. The emirate is turning the desert into a green and sustainable oasis decorated with unique buildings, covering an area of 4.38 square kilometers. While countries are announcing the designs for their pavilions, Dubai is turning the event’s location into an artistic scene full of greenery and water, to capture the attention of visitors and followers from around the world. Expo organizers have cooperated with the Dubai Municipality in creating sustainable greenery and rationalizing water consumption. The Expo has also allocated an area of 220,000 square meters to a nursery for plants and trees, which will cultivate 12,157 trees, including palm trees, over 256,000 shrubs, thousands of flowering plants and herbs, in cooperation with Dubai Municipality.

Global innovation

The UAE has maintained its good standing in this year’s edition of the Global Innovation Index (GII), ranked number one in the Arab World and improving to 36th globally. The country ranked 24th and 58th on the innovation input and output sub-indices respectively, reflecting the significant improvements and high performances in pillars such as Human Capital and Research, Infrastructure, Creative Outputs and Institutions.

His Excellency Sultan Al Mansoori, UAE Minister of Economy, highlighted the country’s consistently high performance over the past four years, moving 11 positions up from 47th in 2015 to 36th in 2019.

“Our solid global innovation performance has given us the confidence to further embark on an ambitious innovation program with short-term initiatives to boost our global innovation ranking and longer-term transformational initiatives to become among the top global innovation leaders,” he says. ” With this in mind, newer initiatives will be rolled out with the chief goal of further expanding fundamental and applied research conducted in the country and linking it to robust financing mechanisms.”

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