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DUBAI: More than seven million foreign tourists visited Dubai last year, marking a "remarkable turnaround", the government of the Gulf city state hosting the Expo world fair announced Thursday.

The figure was up 32 percent on 2020, the first full year of the coronavirus pandemic, Dubai's economy and tourism department said in a statement.

It hailed the recovery as "a remarkable turnaround amid continuing global challenges".

This year, however, missile attacks since last month by Yemeni rebels on the United Arab Emirates of which Dubai is a member have prompted US and UK travel warnings.

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Missile and drone attacks by Houthi rebels in Yemen, in whose war the UAE is a military supporter of the government, have rattled the Gulf state's image as a haven of stability in the turbulent Middle East.

Dubai, home of the world's tallest tower, super-luxury hotels and swanky nightclubs, has since October 1 hosted Expo 2020 which runs until March 31.

The glitzy emirate, a trading and leisure hub, for which tourism is a pillar of the economy, attracted a massive 16.7 million tourists from the East and West in 2019, before Covid-19 restrictions.

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It has recorded a total of more than 850,000 cases of coronavirus, including over 2,250 deaths.

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