Iranians Bypassing Dubai for Alternative Destinations

More Iranians are opting for affordable destinations such as Turkey and Georgia
Around 9,000 fewer Iranians travelled to Dubai in August 2017 compared with the same month of last year.
Around 9,000 fewer Iranians travelled to Dubai in August 2017 compared with the same month of last year.

Recent data on Dubai's tourism show the number of Iranian travelers has declined over the summer month of August while Turkey and Georgia experienced significant growth in tourist inflow from Iran.

As per official statistics, around 34,000 Iranians visited Dubai in August, marking a 21% decrease from 43,000 in August 2016.

Although the Arab emirate had faced an overall downturn in tourism in August (-0.8% growth), the biggest decline pertained to their share of the Iranian tourists, the Persian daily Donya-e-Eqtesad reported.  

Compared to August 2016, 10,000 fewer tourists travelled to Dubai in this month in general, of which Iranians numbered 9,000. This shows that its tourism growth rate would not have been negative had it not been for the loss of travelers from Iran.

The Persian Gulf state's climate during summer has been named by experts as a dampener, but the biggest factor is attributed to the rising popularity of alternative destinations for Iranians.

In August, Turkey and Georgia received 141% and 85% more tourists respectively from Iran.

In the first eight months of 2017, Dubai saw a 17% increase in tourists from Iran compared to 2016 while the figure was over 39% for Turkey and around 142% for Georgia.  

Estimates based on comments of visitors in cyberspace show that the average daily cost of travel to Turkey is around $50 per person while figures approximated $280 for Dubai. Tourists also mention that accommodation and food in Dubai cost four times more than in Turkey.

Georgia offers an even more economical trip, as the average daily expense per person has been stated to be $20, as food and lodging are relatively cheaper.

Although these statistics are not official and only based on personal experiences of a small number of visitors, the difference is so remarkable that it cannot be ignored.

Cultural events and concerts have also contributed to the attraction of these affordable destinations for Iranians.

Add to these the highly competitive rates offered by domestic operators conducting tours to Turkey and Georgia.

As a result, the large gap between the costs of visiting Dubai and the other two popular destinations justifies the shift in the preferences of Iranian tourists.

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