Photo by Ahmed Kutty/Gulf News
It should come as no surprise, but Abu Dhabi is shooting up through the ranks of tourist attractions and will soon surpass even it's biggest regional competitors. With organizations like the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority pushing hard to keep tourists interested, it's almost an expected but still welcome result.
Abu Dhabi is forecast to post the strongest growth rate in international visitor numbers in the region this year, surpassing those of other major destinations in the Middle East and Africa.
According to the latest Global Destination Cities Index by MasterCard, Abu Dhabi will be the seventh-most visited city in the region in 2013, with visitor arrivals estimated to reach 1.7 million, an increase of 16.1 per cent over 2012.
If the UAE capital maintains its growth pace in the coming years, it will move up to the third spot in the regional ranking. “Abu Dhabi will overtake Lagos (currently ranked fifth in the region) by 2016 and match Johannesburg (occupying the third spot) by 2017,” MasterCard said in its report.
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