A total of 4.57 million travellers visited the emirate, reflecting more than double the growth achieved in the first quarter of last year, according to Dubai Tourism.
The UK was the third largest source market after India and Saudi Arabia, seeing growth of 5% to 350,000. The three countries contributed almost a third of total visitor arrivals in the January to March period, although numbers from Saudi Arabia fell by 8% to 440,000.
China saw growth of 64% to 230,000 while Oman slumped by 33% to 214,000.
Dubai Tourism director general, Helal Saeed Almarri, said: “Q1 2017 has set us off on a very strong trajectory for the year and we are pleased to see our strategic investments and policy reforms yielding such definitive impact.
“We have made tremendous strides in ongoing efforts to increase the city’s accessibility, minimise barriers to travel, and make it as seamless as possible for prospective tourists to visit and revisit Dubai.
“China and Russia’s strong acceleration in response to our initiatives are a clear reflection of the importance of such measures as facilitators of tourism sector growth.”
He added: “With the robust 2016 results taking Dubai even closer to attaining the targeted 20 million annual international visitors in 2020, Dubai Tourism’s success is ultimately a reflection of the dynamism and strength of the collaborations and partnerships nurtured across government, public and private sector players as well as the global travel trade.”