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More Russians visiting Dubai

The number of tourists from Russia who vacationed in the United Arab Emirates’ largest city rose significantly in 2021.
Emirati women look at a tourist in Dubai's Jumeirah Beach Residence on Aug. 17, 2021.

An increasing number of Russians are visiting Dubai, according to a recent industry report. 

The Arabian Travel Market, which hosts a yearly travel industry event in Dubai, said today that Russia was the second-largest source market for the city’s travel and tourism sector in 2021, up from eight place in 2020. Citing a report from the Canadian investment management firm Colliers, the market said visits from Russia to Dubai are expected to increase yearly. 

“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,” said the market’s exhibition director Danielle Curtis in a press release. 

In the travel industry, a source market refers to where visitors come from. 

There were 374,000 visitors from Russia to Dubai between January and November of 2021. This was the third most from any country at that point in the year, behind India and Saudi Arabia, according to the latest statistics from Dubai’s official tourist office. In 2020, 296,000 people visited Dubai from Russia, according to the office. 

The Arabian Travel Market expects the Russian tourism market to provide $1 billion for the United Arab Emirates within the next four years. Russian travelers are projected to spend $1,280 per person during their stays in Dubai by 2026, according to the release. 

Tourism is a major industry in Dubai and throughout the UAE. The country briefly barred tourists in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Emirati government has continued to ban travel from certain countries at times due to coronavirus-related concerns. 

Russian citizens can get a 90-day tourist visa on arrival upon entering the UAE. Like other visitors, travelers from Russia must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test to enter the country. There are no travel restrictions specific to Russia at present.

The Colliers report, which the firm sent to Al-Monitor, added that the Expo 2020 Dubai and the 2022 World Cup soccer competition in Qatar are likely to bring more Russians to Dubai in the near future.

The Arabian Travel Market will take place May 9-12 at the Dubai World Trade Center.