Visitors from the Middle East spent a record of more than £1b during the first nine months of last year, according to new figures released by VisitBritain.
The 11% increase in spending from January to September 2013 was accompanied by a 10% growth to 452,000 in total visits from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait and Qatar.
The figures were announced as the Caledonian hotel in Edinburgh and the Athenaeum hotel in London joined a VisitBritain travel trade mission to Saudi Arabia.
VisitBritain predicts that by 2020 Saudi Arabia will have the highest growth - 181% - amongst the 20 major and emerging markets in its tourism strategy. The country is also among the top five highest-spending markets for Britain, with an average spend per visit of £2,354, whilst the overall average for all visitors to Britain is £606.
Joss Croft, marketing director, VisitBritain, said: "We have ambitious growth targets which we are working tirelessly to achieve from across the GCC region.
"We've already partnered and launched campaigns with the top three airlines - Emirates, Qatar and Etihad - and our trade missions allow us to facilitate relationships with the people who help us sell the best of Britain."