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Dubai’s Shopping Paradise Attracts Chinese Tourists with New Digital Strategy

As of 2024, here are some notable facts and data about Chinese tourists and their shopping habits in Dubai:

  1. Increase in Chinese Tourists: The UAE, particularly Dubai, expects a significant influx of Chinese tourists within the next 6 to 12 months. This surge is anticipated following the loosening of COVID-related travel restrictions in China and an increase in international flights​​.
  2. Return to Pre-pandemic Levels: The number of visitors from China to the UAE could return to pre-pandemic levels by the next Chinese New Year. China has consistently been among the top five source markets for Dubai over the past decade​​.
  3. Recovery in Tourist Numbers: In 2022, the number of Chinese visitors to Dubai reached 177,000, up 131% from 2021. However, these levels were still down 82% from 2019 due to China’s strict COVID-19 policies, which have only recently been relaxed​​.
  4. Boost in Air Connectivity: Airlines like Emirates and Etihad Airways have increased their operations in China to cater to the growing travel demand, boosting connectivity to major Chinese cities such as Guangzhou, Shanghai, and Beijing​​.
  5. Tourism and Economic Impact: Dubai’s strategy to attract Chinese tourists includes adding new attractions, hosting events like the Dubai Food Festival and Dubai Shopping Festival, and implementing visa-free policies for Chinese tourists. The city’s approach reflects a broader commitment to becoming “China Ready”​​.

These developments suggest a positive trend in the recovery and growth of Chinese tourism in Dubai, particularly in the context of shopping and leisure travel.

Duba Mall uses Social Media App to attract Chinese shoppers

Mall of the Emirates, the world-known luxury shopping mall in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) launched a new mobile application, thought in details especially for Chinese customers. Indeed, the shopping center recognizes the potential of Chinese shoppers so they created a mobile application for them to enjoy more their shopping experience and their stay in Dubai.

Read more

Dubai: Top Strategies to Lure Chinese Tourists

A “Shopping Resort” for Chinese

It will provide the customers an easy-to-navigate guide to Dubai’s “shopping resort”, including an overview of more than 630 international brand stores. Among them, more than 80 prestigious fashion brands such as Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Christian Louboutin, Versace, Dolce & Gabbana and Prada are gathered in a New Luxury Fashion Areas, located in the mall’s Fashion Dome and Via Rodeo. They are a strategic point for attracting Chinese big shoppers because they are extremely popular in China and have a well-established image for these visitors. 

10 Tips to attract Chinese Tourists in 2023

Digital Marketing to Attract Chinese tourists 

mall-of-emirates.china-app-1mall-of-emirates.china-app-2Little red book or Douyin gives few additional functions for Chinese customers regarding their pre-arrival and their journey in Dubai: they can access information about Dubai and the Mall of the Emirates, they can benefit from a holiday planner, a store locator, a currency converter, a tip calculator. It also gives information about tourist and beach attractions, weather, travel tips, VIP tours etc. and details about the range of luxury fashion brands, jewelers, watchmakers and dining and entertainment options available to consumers, as part of the service aimed at Chinese Outbound Tourists.

Little red book aka the Chinese instagram is super popular amog travelers

Digital Made in China

But the progress of Mall of the Emirates in their service quality doesn’t stop here: indeed, inside the mall, “red carpet” services including Mandarin speaking assistants, shuttle services and exclusive offers welcome the Chinese guests. Moreover, Chinese shoppers’ payments are eased with Union Pay accepted in the whole mall.


Dubai just took the Chinese New Year celebrations to the next level with a mind-blowing drone show at the Burj Al Arab, featuring 1,800 drones forming a massive 300-meter-long Chinese dragon in the sky. 🐉 The free spectacle from Jumeirah Beach and nearby spots was a total vibe, blending tech and tradition to not just ring in the Lunar New Year but also flex Dubai’s knack for epic events that stick with you. Video: @pixtarami/IG #dubai #chinesenewyear #dragon #drone #amazing

♬ original sound – Wealth – Wealth

Regarding year-on-year growth of Chinese visitors in Dubai, Director of Mall of the Emirates, Mr Moosa said: “In 2023, Dubai saw 450,000 more tourist arrivals from China. With growing numbers of Chinese visitors stopping in Dubai to enjoy world-class shopping and duty free prices, we are delighted to make the experience more welcoming and easier for them with this innovative mobile application”. Indeed, this trend is expected to continue to increase rapidly: the Middle Eastern city currently welcomes around 14.3 million overnight visitors each year and this number is expected to rise by 9.7 percent by 2020. (Read also $422 billions: the size of the Chinese outbound tourism market)

All these efforts made by Dubai are aimed for the city to become the new ‘dream’ destination for Chinese travel lovers, ahead of London and Paris. (Find an article on Chinese loves Paris or London). Acknowledging the potential of Chinese tourists, hospitality brand Four Seasons Hotel & Resorts created a similar app for guests from China. 

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Further readings:

  1. Luxury trends in China
  2. How to attract (more) Chinese Tourists
  3. 5 new trends about Chinese tourists
  4. You Want to Attract Chinese Tourists, Target their Community!
  5. top Chinese Digital marketing strategies 

Need to develop a digital strategy in tourism? We may be able to help you! Contact us here

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