The number of Middle East tourists to the Maldives soared by nearly 20 percent in the first half of 2019 as Gulf carriers prepare to increase capacity to Male to meet rising demand.
Latest figures from the Ministry of Tourism, Maldives show that the destination saw a 19.7 percent increase in the number of travellers from the Middle East who visited in the first six months of 2019 compared to the same period in 2018.
The arrivals from Middle East were 27,679 from January to June compared to 23,130 in the year-earlier period.
The Maldives is recognised as one of the most attractive holiday destinations in the world.
Thoyyib Mohamed, managing director of the ministry, said: “We are very pleased to see a notable increase in the number of Middle East and worldwide arrivals to the Maldives.
"Efforts from the industry stake holders combined with the unparalleled service, luxury and levels of hospitality and privacy that Maldivian resorts offer, will definitely spill over in remaining months of 2019 and into 2020 as well and ring in unprecedented arrival numbers for Maldives from the Middle East market. We look forward to welcoming even more tourists from the Middle East to our shores.”
The figures comes as Gulf airlines are increasing capacity on routes to Male. Etihad Airways recently said it will operate a Boeing 787 Dreamliner on its daily morning service from Abu Dhabi to the city from October 27 to April 30 2020.
Gulf Air, the national carrier of Bahrain, last month welcomed its third Airbus A320neo, which on October 26 will begin operating to Male, the airline's latest destination.
In June, Emirates made the Maldivian capital the first destination in the south Asian region to be served on a regular basis by its latest Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft fitted with the Game Changer First Class suites.