Turkey remains one of the most popular holiday destinations for United Arab Emirates residents. In 2013 over 50,000 UAE residents visited Turkey, a 50 % increase from 2012. This is according to the Turkish Culture and Tourism Office in Dubai, which found that the UAE is among the top three countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) that opt for Turkey as its number one holiday destination.
“Turkey remains a popular destination, not only for the GCC but globally,” said Mustafa Ozdemir, cultural & information attaché, Cultural & Information Office Turkish Consulate General in Dubai. “The GCC currently contributes 5 % of Turkey’s tourism revenue, with Kuwait as the highest contributor, followed by the UAE. It’s understandable that the GCC and Turkey both have historical and cultural ties and this is evident in the increase of tourists over the last year. Residents are choosing the country based on its locality, cost and historical richness,” he added.
The Turkish Culture and Tourism Office will discuss its tourism industry at this year’s Arabian Travel Market (ATM), for inbound and outbound tourism professionals from across the globe. The event will be held from 5–8 May at the Dubai International Convention Centre.
Last year Turkey attracted more than 39 million tourists, making it the sixth most popular tourist destination in the world. While Istanbul remains the most popular city for UAE tourists to visit in Turkey, Antalya, Bodrum and Bursa are fast becoming destinations of choice, especially during the peak summer period in July and August.
“In order to further increase visitors and highlight Turkey to the UAE, we will be looking for opportunities to invest in tourism in order to foster sustainable growth and mutual understanding between our two countries,” added Ozdemir.
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Grace Sescon Bantilan