Business travel

Dubai leads the world in business travel resumption

Dubai overtook London to become the top destination for global business travel this year, with the United Arab Emirates seeing the strongest travel recovery of any country, according to data from travel technology firm Travelport.

Travelport figures show bookings to Dubai in 2022 outperforming its 2019 performance by 14%, with the UK delivering the most visitors to the destination.

The emirate ranks fifth in the world in terms of recovery for individual destinations, with leisure-oriented destinations such as the Dominican Republic, Montego Bay in Jamaica and the Mexican resort town of Cancun topping the list.

Travelport said business travel accounted for almost a third (29%) 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 was the top business destination in 2019 before the Covid-19 crisis.

Dubai’s high vaccination rate as well as hosting major events such as Expo 2020 Dubai and the Dubai World Cup horse race have helped the recovery, Travelport said.

The Saudi capital of Riyadh has recovered at an even faster pace than Dubai this year with bookings 15% above 2019 levels.

Bookings across the UAE are currently up 10% from 2019 levels, more than any other country in the world, Travelport added.

Globally, bookings have recovered to around two-thirds (67%) of pre-pandemic levels.