The number of UAE nationals visiting Turkey recorded 11.28 percent growth in the first two months of 2019, to 3,975, according to the latest data released by the Turkish Consulate General Cultural and Info Office in Dubai.

Turkey is one of the largest outbound tourism markets for people living in the Gulf countries. In February 2019, around 1,670 million international tourists visited Turkey, which is 9.38 percent more compared to the same period in 2018.

In 2018, the number of visitors from the UAE to Turkey reached 250,000, including 43,292 UAE Nationals, government statistics show.

Tourist flow from GCC to Turkey continues to rise, due to a number of factors that include increased number of attractions and relaxation in the visa formalities. However, this is a fraction of the total number of visitors from the UAE, when expatriate residents are included.

Tourism revenues increased 12.3 percent reaching US$29.5 billion in 2018, in comparison with US$26.2 billion the revenues collected in 2017.

Official data revealed that 81.8 percent of the income came from foreign visitors and 18.2 percent from Turkish citizens living abroad.

Salih Ozer, Attaché of Culture and Information, Turkey to the UAE, said, “Tourist flow from the GCC countries to Turkey continues to grow and I am happy to see the growth trend continues this year, despite headwinds in the global economy.

“Turkey remains an oasis of peace and tranquility and offers a large number of tourism attractions. It offers a greater value for money when compared to other popular tourism destinations across the world.

“Turkey and the Gulf countries share centuries old social, cultural and economic ties. The repeated visits of the friendly visitors from the GCC countries help fuel the growth of our economy.”

Turkey welcomed just over 46 million visitors in 2018, including 39.49 million foreigners and 6.62 million Turkish citizens from abroad.

Nearly six million foreigners coming to Turkey in 2018 were from Russia -- an increase of 26.49 percent compared with 2017 -- and 4.5 million visitors were from Germany, up by 25.88 percent from the previous year, according to the ministry's statement.

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