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Mainland tourists flock to Mideast

By Zhang Haizhou | China Daily | Updated: 2010-02-04 07:47

DUBAI: It is no exaggeration that the first 10 guests I met at the Burj Al Arab Hotel in Dubai were all Chinese. I was in the lobby of what is regarded as the world's first seven-star hotel on a sunny morning last month just as a band of tourists from Jilin province checked out. They were all snapping away with cameras to capture reminders of their stay.

"It's pretty cheap to travel to Dubai after the credit crisis. We each paid just 10,800 yuan ($1,600) for a five-day trip and stayed in a top hotel," said a woman in her 40s surnamed Li who was with the group.

The United Arab Emirates has become a popular destination for Chinese tourists, with many attracted to Dubai, arguably the most glamorous of the seven emirates. Analysts told me they expect the city to see unprecedented numbers during the Lunar New Year holiday next month.

Mainland tourists flock to Mideast

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