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Swayed by wanderlust: Indiansdominate Dubai’s tourism sector

Swayed by wanderlust: Indiansdominate Dubai’s tourism sector
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Highlights

India’s relation with the UAEgoes back to the days when the gulf country was yet to transform from a sleepy fishing community

India’s relation with the UAEgoes back to the days when the gulf country was yet to transform from a sleepy fishing community into aeconomic powerhouse of the world.All the emirates combined became global citieson the sweat, blood and tears of South Asian expatriate workers, among whom Indians constituted a sizeable majority.Decades later, the relevance of Indians to the UAE has refused to die out and instead their roles took a different form; that of investors and tourists.

With the Indian economy doing well, the fruits of economic bliss havereached the Indian middle classin abundance. As a result of their newfound affluence, more and more Indians are looking out into the world to find places which suit their business and leisure tastes. And their gaze has been set on the UAE, especially Dubai, for some time now.

During the past one decade Indians have invested heavily in the Emirati real estate market. According to UAE property portal Bayut.com, Dubai’s real estate rental returns go as high as 8% to 10% in certain categories, comparable with – and often outdoing – some of the best cities in the world.But Indians have now become even more important for the gulf nation’s economy, for India has now become the biggest source market for Dubai’s tourism sector as well.

Dubai’s tourism industry welcomed around 14.2 million overnight visitors in 2015, of which 1.6 million were Indians. By registering a 26 percent increase over the numbers for 2014, Indians sat comfortably atop the tourists’ list.

It is true that Dubai has remained a natural business and tourism destination for Indians over the years due to many reasons, let’s consider some of the key ones.

Strong UAE-India relations
Indians like to frequently fly to Dubai for business and pleasure. This trend has been further cemented by strong state-level ties between UAE and India. During Indian prime minister’s historic UAE visit last year, leaders of both the countries agreed to improve bilateral ties by increasing people-to-people contact. Such cooperation has opened the doors for further growth in Indian tourist numbers in Dubai and ensured a steady stream of cultural exchange as well.

Affordability
The Indian economy has cautiously improved over the past few decades which has resulted in growing affluence among the Indian middle class. Improvement in salary packages and availability of disposable income in India has inspired a trend of international tourism from all corners of India.

The growth in Indian affluence can also be attributed to rise in GDP per capita in India which was recorded at US$1,165 in 2013, registering astaggering rise from $740 in 2006. Under such circumstances, Dubai is the most affordable destination for Indian tourists where a holiday package per person may cost less than Indian Rs62,000, which includes flights, visa, accommodation, food and entertainment. Such a package is hard to decline if you have money in your hands and other tourist destinations a tad bit expensive.

Low Cost of Living
A comparative cost of living analysis of Dubai with many Indian cities will show that the emirate is still a cheaper option than most Indian cities. According to Numbeo.com,you will need around AED 19,512 in Dubai to maintain the same standard of living that will cost you Rs 94,000 in Delhi (if one is to rent out units in both these cities).

Other than this, the emirate also comes with the benefit of tax-free living where you can earnrespectable income and at the end of the month make good savings. Furthermore, the emirate also provides the best recreational facilities in the region and beyond to keep tourists from all corners of the world interested.

More Connecting Flights to Dubai
The UAE is the largest country for air ticket bookings for outbound travel from India, according to online travel agent ClearTrip.com.

According to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation, Indian tourist numbers are forecast to grow to 50 million by 2020. These numbers have risen from 3.7 million in 1997 to 9.8 million in 2007.

Another advantage for Indian tourists visiting Dubai is the availability of over 1,700 flights a month connecting Dubai and different cities in India. Add to this a total flying time of between 3-5 hours and the emirate becomes the best affordable option for Indian tourists.

Shop till You Drop
Dubai has historically been considered a dreamland for shopaholicsand with a wide array of retail options to choose from, the emirate is still considered the shopping capital of the world.

The good thing is that the Indian leisure and retail market has also taken off in the recent years, thus providing opportunities to Indians to expand their businesses into Dubai’s retail sector to make contribution to the emirate’s economy.

As more Indian tourists head towards the UAE, it is expected that the South Asian country will help Dubai achieve the 20 million visitors per year markby 2020. It’s just a matter of time until the travel bug bites more Indians looking to explore the emirates.

Visit website : https://www.bayut.com/

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