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27th Moscow International Travel & Tourism Exhibition
17–19 March 2020 • Crocus Expo, Moscow

Destination focus: the UAE

The UAE, a collection of seven Emirates on the Arab Peninsula, is fast becoming a hot spot for Russian holidaymakers.
Destination focus: the UAE
Numbers of Russian tourists have grown exponentially over the past few years, from 206,000 in 2015 to 530,000 in 2017. And growth is continuing – 545,000 Russian tourists travelling to the UAE in the first six months of 2018 alone, meaning the country has seen a staggering 165% increase over two and a half years.

Dubai, famed for its shopping, bright lights, and impressive skyscrapers, is drawing the majority of Russian tourists. The Emirate saw 405,000 Russian tourists in the first six months of 2018, according to its Department of Tourism and Commercial Marketing, which is 74% more than the same period last year. 2017 too saw impressive year-on-year growth: the Emirate welcomed 121% more Russian tourists than 2016, making Russia the fastest growing inbound source market.

Other Emirates are also seeing huge increases in tourists from Russia, Abu Dhabi for example saw a growth of 75% in Russian holidaymakers in 2017.

Sharjah is also seeing the benefits: “The Russian market is very important to us, it’s been one of the main markets supplying tourists and visitors to Sharjah for many years,” explained Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman of the Offices of Trade and Tourism Development of the Emirate of Sharjah (UAE).

The remarkable growth has been aided greatly by visa requirements. Although visas were only officially waived in July this year, Russian tourists have dealt with a hugely simplified visa process for over a year.

Increased flight routes have also played a major role in enabling Russian tourists to enjoy the warm climates of the UAE.

Future prospects

The UAE is implementing a number of initiatives to encourage even more inbound tourism such as tourism strategies and green tourism and hotel initiatives.

Dubai is introducing new tourist incentives such as raising service standards, building more hotels over the next 12 years, investing in airports, and diversifying the market to attract additional tourists and increase the average length of stay.

As far as flight routes go, air carriers are said to be optimistic for the 2018/19 winter season and have increased volumes of transportation.

At the end of October, Emirates airline will launch a third daily direct flight to Moscow, Aeroflot will increase the frequency of Moscow-Dubai flights to four a day, and S7 Airlines will launch a third direct flight a week from Novosibirsk.

Charter flights with Russia’s largest tour operators – ANEX Tour, Coral Travel, TUI Russia, and Biblio-Globus – will also increase on last year’s volumes.

Looking to take advantage of this promising source market?

Discover more opportunities at MITT

The Moscow International Travel and Tourism exhibition, Russia’s leading event of its kind, attracts over 22,700 travel industry professionals every year. It’s where the people deciding where Russian tourists go gather to source new destinations and opportunities.

If you’re looking for new partnerships with Russian tour operators, travel agencies, and other industry professionals, MITT 2019 is the place to be.

“We’ve been participating in MITT for 19 years in a row. It’s a very important platform for us to discuss future opportunities and deals,” said Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman of the Offices of Trade and Tourism Development of the Emirate of Sharjah (UAE).

Enquire today to find out how participating in this major event can help you.