Tourists are not only traveling to Dubai on vacation, they are now traveling to attend concerts and festivals, according to industry insiders.

“There is an increase in regional tourists attending music events in Dubai,” said Issam Kazim, commercial director at DWTC in an interview with The National.

In the first quarter of this year Dubai’s World Trade Center (DWTC) held 12 live events drawing 140,000 fans to the arena. That is more than the whole of the last year when it registered just 106,000 people at a total of 24 concerts.

In order to benefit from the trend, the center plans on hosting music industry conferences in the near future.

No longer will big-name artists skip the UAE on their journeys around the globe. We are already seeing acts like

Coldplay, Rihanna, and The Killers book spots in the UAE’s venues. Not to mention Canadian megastar Justin Bieber who played to a sold out crowd on May 4.

Also, Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island hosted Metallica on April 19, the concert attracted fans from afar a field as South Africa, Poland and France.

The UAE’s star studded line-up has proven lucrative, tickets, for example, are highly sought after and priced accordingly.

The average price for a basic ticket to Rihanna’s upcoming concert in Abu Dhabi stands at Dh250 ($68.06) with elite tickets sold for up to Dh1.295. Despite the high prices, pre-sale, ‘early-bird,’ tickets managed to sell out within hours.

Concert promoters are hard at work booking acts in order to collect the pricey ticket commissions. And it’s not only musicians attracting tourists to the area. The Royal Moscow Ballet performed Swan Lake on Monday at the DWTC.

During the 16-day World Beats event last month, artists from Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas traveled to Abu Dhabi’s Ferrari World, bringing with them thousands of fans.

A spokeswoman from Flash entertainment, Mira Sadek, told The National that in “2011 and 2012, the events attracted 800,000 fans from across the world.”

Concert sites, like the Du Arena have begun refurbishing their venues in preparation for the numerous events and expected tourism rush in the upcoming fall season.

“Such improvements are critical if the venue, and indeed the city as a whole, is to continue its growth as a major regional hub for international tours and events,” Sadek said.