Indian visitors travelling to the GCC are expected to increase to 9.8 million by 2024, marking an increase of 81 per cent from 5.4 million in 2018, a new report has found.
The UAE welcomed 2.89 million Indian tourists in 2018, with that number estimated to grow to 5.29 million by 2024, increasing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11 per cent.
Looking specifically at Dubai’s inbound tourist traffic, close to one million Indian visitors flocked to the emirate during the first half of 2019.
Other GCC countries such as Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain and Kuwait are expected to post an increase of 10 per cent respectively in Indian tourists between 2018 and 2024.
Relaxed visa regulations for Indian nationals, additional airline routes, increasing business opportunities, a renewed focus on Indian weddings and the MICE segment and also the increasing popularity of adventure and eco-tourism in countries including the UAE and Oman are some of the reasons behind this growth.
The UAE now grants visas on arrival – valid for a maximum of 14 days – to Indians who are either UK- or EU-residence visa holders, US green card holders or have US visit visas, provided that the passport and visa or green card is valid for at least six months from the date of arrival into the UAE, according to the UAE government’s official portal.