Tourism Industry News

European guests fuel Dubai growth

25/09/2008 16:07

Dubai hotels continued to attract more visitors at the start of this year, with close to 1.9 million guests staying in the emirate’s ever-growing number of properties.

This figure, for the January-March period, represented a 7% rise on the same period in 2007.

Europe was the largest market, accounting for 593,500 guests. Within this total, bed-nights taken by UK guests rose by 11.3% to 224,400.

The average occupancy rate for the period was 90.2%, yielding a year-on-year increase in revenue of 19.5%.

This year 22 new properties will open, increasing capacity by 9%. They include the much anticipated Atlantis on Jumeirah Palm and the arrival of the QE2.

These 22 developments will bring a further 10,000 rooms with an additional 93,900 hotel rooms and apartments planned by 2016.

Ian Scott, director of the UK and Ireland office for the Dubai department of tourism and commerce marketing, said: “Dubai’s Strategic Plan 2015 reflects a diversification of the economy which is fuelling a tremendous growth in the tourism industry.

“The development of world-class facilities across the leisure and business arena continues to support Dubai’s rapid growth in accommodation, enabling the emirate to retain its position as a premium destination, well on track to welcoming 15 million visitors by 2015.”

Dubai International airport is currently undergoing expansion and work has begun on Al Maktoum International airport.

The tourist board hopes improvements to roads, the creation of bridges and an expansive metro system will enhance Dubai’s offering.

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