Dubai visitor numbers rise by more than 10 percent in first half of 2017

DUBAI (Reuters) - The number of foreign tourists visiting Dubai in the first half of 2017 rose by 10.6 percent to 8.06 million, Dubai's tourism department said on Sunday, with the emirate proving particular popular with Indians.

Tourism is a key industry for the glitzy Middle East emirate which has spent billions of dollars trying to attract visitors with sites including the world's tallest tower.

India remained the emirate's largest individual market over the period, with 1.05 million Indians visiting Dubai, up 21 per cent compared to a year earlier. It was the first time the number of Indian visitors had surpassed 1 million over a six month period.

The number of Chinese and Russian visitors has increased sharply since the United Arab Emirates started granting visas on arrival in September and January, respectively, for those nationals.

Dubai saw 413,000 Chinese visitors, up 55 percent, and 233,000 Russian visitors, up 97 percent, in the first half of 2017.

Reporting by Alexander Cornwell; Editing by Keith Weir

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