Dubai Bujr Khalifa
Dubai Bujr KhalifaReuters file

India emerged as the number one source country for foreign tourists visiting Dubai, with more than 1. 6 million Indians flying to the emirate last year, said the department of tourism and commerce marketing, government of Dubai.

Besides, India was also the second fastest-growing market for Dubai, with tourist arrivals from the South Asian country registering a 26% growth over 2014.

The Indian sub-continent was also the third largest region by volume, after the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

"South Asia was the next largest region by volume, bringing in 2.3 million visitors, reflecting a 21.7% increase versus 2014," the department said in a statement.

The Dubai government's efforts to woo affluent Indians with targeted campaigns is paying off, it said.

"Efforts to serve highly segment-specific messaging in cities with the highest connectivity and latent capacity, as well as building stronger trade ties in market with digital travel intermediaries, have yielded results and will continue to enable Dubai to capture a share of the growing Indian upper middle-class family and business segments."

Overall, the country received 14.2 million overnight visitors in 2015, up 7.5% over 2014, the statement said.

Dubai was the fourth most-visited city in the world last year, said Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General of Dubai Tourism, in the statement.

The GCC contributed significantly, with 3.3 million visitors from the region visiting Dubai, with Saudi Arabia having the largest share at 1.54 million tourists.

Western Europe was the second largest regional contributor, with 3 million people visiting Dubai. The UK was one of the top three source countries, the department said.