Visa-free policy makes UAE preferred destination of Chinese tourists

By Hoang Phong   March 28, 2024 | 05:20 pm PT
Visa-free policy makes UAE preferred destination of Chinese tourists
People are seen in front of Burj Khalifa, the world tallest building, in Dubai, UAE, March 12, 2020. Photo by Reuters
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has emerged as a favored destination of Chinese tourists, buoyed by its visa-free policy and increased flight connections.

Data from Chinese online travel agencies including Ctrip, Tongcheng and Zuzuche revealed a significant rise in Chinese tourists flocking to the UAE, travel site Skift reported.

"The UAE’s visa-free policy for Chinese visitors, coupled with robust flight connections, contributes to its appeal," it cited Sienna Parulis-Cook, director of marketing and communications of Dragon Trail, as saying.

Last year, Chinese actress Liu Yifei was appointed as the tourism ambassador for UAE capital’s Abu Dhabi.

The Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism introduced a promotional video featuring Liu, which garnered 7.9 million views and was shared 32,000 times just in a week.

Research by Oxford Economics predicted that the Middle East would lead the global recovery in Chinese inbound tourism this year.

ForwardKeys’ data already shows that Chinese arrivals to the Middle East have surpassed 2019 levels.

Southeast Asian countries are racing to attract Chinese tourists, with visa-free policies.

Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore offered visa waivers for tourists from China from late last year.

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