The United Arab Emirates started visa-on-arrival service for Russians in 2017, and by far the results are amazing. Dubai World Central welcomed 900,000 international visitors in one single year, as per the report released by Dubai Airports. 850,633 international visitors visited Dubai in 2016, showing a 6.4 percent increase in 2017. From Eastern Europe, Russia outranked all other countries and became the single most contributors to the tourism sector of UAE. In 2017, 452,631 visitors were from Eastern Europe, an increase of 168 percent from 2016. Out of that, 279,100 were Russian tourists, that increased by 955.4 percent from 2016. From Western Europe, Dubai received 94,452 tourists, an increase of 34.6 percent from 2016, with Germany being the most significant contributor, sending over 41,671 tourists. Wizz Air, Ural Airlines, Azur Air, Condor, and Royal Flight were the biggest contributors to air traffic. UAE reached the freight volume of 972,295 tonnes, very close to the one million mark targeted for 2017, an 8.3 percent increase from the 897,998 tonnes recorded in 2016. 34,198 flights flew back and forth from Dubai, a decrease of 11.6 percent from 38,670 flights in 2016 that is because the airline companies flew 36.3 percent bigger flights comprising a minimum of 129 passengers as compared to 94 passengers in 2016.

Happy with the performance

Paul Griffiths, CEO, Dubai Airports, said that Dubai World Central is very satisfied with the number of passengers and freight in 2017. The airport is popular with airline companies that operate point to point routes, which is advantageous to its success. It is very convenient, cost-effective, and gives quick turnaround times. In 2018, the Dubai World Central plans to expand its operations and increase the passenger capacity, to fly more people using lesser flights. The terminal building will go under renovation and expansion in 2018 to accommodate five million to 26 million passengers every year once it is completed.

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