The number of tourists visiting the UK is expected to increase significantly with a full schedule of events in summer 2012.
22 February 2012
British tourist industry expects upswing in UK visa applications from Middle East
VisitBritain, the UK's national tourist authority has confirmed that a record number of Middle Eastern tourists visited Britain on a UK tourist visa in 2011 and are expecting that trend to continue in 2012.
The prospect of the London Olympics combined with other events taking place in the capital is widely expected to see UK visa applications increase dramatically, with a significant increase in applications from the Middle East in particular.
2011 marked the best year in British tourism since 2008, when the global financial crisis struck; one in seven tourists last year visited from the 'Rest of the World' region, which includes the Middle East.
UAE manager at Visit Britain, Carol Maddison, said: "A strong contingent of Middle Eastern tourists is expected to visit Britain during the 2012 Summer Olympics and Paralympics.
"With June's Diamond Jubilee and the London 2012 Festival this summer, there will be activities to suit everyone's interests and passions, providing a unique opportunity to experience Britain and British hospitality at its very best."
The British government is eager to encourage visitors during the Olympics with Guy Warrington, consul general at the British Embassy in Dubai saying:
"The whole world will come together in London for the Olympic and Paralympic Games this summer. Our Emirati guests visiting the UK in July, I promise the warmest of welcomes.
"Not only will they be thrilled by the excitement of the Games, but they will also be spoilt for choice from all that the UK has to offer - from Edinburgh Castle and the mountains of Snowdonia to Stonehenge and beyond."
The UK Visa Bureau is an independent UK immigration consultancy specialising in helping people prepare for their UK Ancestry Visa application.