Dubai has outpaced London to become the top destination for global business travel this year, as the United Arab Emirates has seen the strongest travel recovery of any country, according to data from travel technology firm Travelport.
Travelport’s figures show bookings to Dubai in 2022 are outpacing its 2019 performance by 14 per cent, with the UK providing the most visitors to the destination.
The emirate ranks fifth in the world in terms of recovery for individual destinations, with leisure-focused destinations such as the Dominican Republic, Montego Bay in Jamaica and the Mexican resort of Cancun topping the list.
Travelport reported that corporate travel has made up nearly one-third (29 per cent) of Dubai’s total bookings this year, putting the emirate at the top of the list of global business travel destinations so far in 2022. London had been the top corporate destination in 2019 before the Covid-19 crisis.
Dubai's high vaccination rate as well as hosting major events including Expo 2020 Dubai and the Dubai World Cup horse race have contributed to the recovery, said Travelport.
The Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh has recovered at an even faster rate than Dubai this year with bookings 15 per cent ahead of 2019 levels.
Bookings across the entire UAE are currently up 10 per cent from 2019 levels, higher than any other country in the world, added Travelport.
On a global scale, bookings have recovered to about two-thirds (67 per cent) of pre-pandemic levels.