Mumbai: India’s fabled affinity with Dubai got a statistical backing with a record 2.1 million Indians visiting the emirate in 2017, marking a 15 per cent increase in the number of travellers from India, according to official figures. South Asia emerged as the top source of tourists for Dubai, with Indian visitors, amounting to 2.1 million, arriving in the emirate last year, up by 15 per cent from 12 months earlier. Dubai is nearing its 2020 tourism target as it welcomed a total of 15.79 million visitors last year, up by 6.2 per cent over a year earlier, the report said.

The increase in the number of Indians is partly due to Dubai Tourism’s ongoing collaboration with Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan in the multi-awarded #BeMyGuest campaign, the report said. Saudi Arabia was the second-largest contributor of tourists to Dubai at 1.53 million. The Kingdom remained the highest driver of visitor traffic from within the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region, although the overall number of Saudi tourists posted a 7 per cent decline from a year earlier. The UK was the third-largest source of tourists, delivering 1.27 million travellers – up by two per cent over

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