Abu Dhabi: Key players in Dubai’s tourism industry came together to mark the city’s achievement of reaching 100,000 rooms across its hotels and hotel apartments following the soft opening of The Westin Dubai in Al Habtoor City.
Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism), which is the emirate’s tourism body, said it expects occupied room nights in hotels and hotel apartments to reach 35.9 million. The figure represents a 10.8 per cent compound annual growth rate from the end of 2015 to the end of 2018.
As a result of the expected growth in demand, room supply is set to reflect similar growth, reaching 134,000 rooms by the end of 2018.
In a statement on Sunday, Dubai Tourism also said it expected occupancy rates until 2018 to be maintained at around 77 per cent.
“For the hotel sector, high demand from international travellers, and the consequent growth in tourism volumes, has been the cornerstone of fostering continued investment in supply enhancement, which has seen us cross this historic 100,000-room threshold,” stated Helal Al Merri, director general of Dubai Tourism.
The tourism body also expects to see an increase in hotel guests’ length of stay, which is projected to reach four days by 2018, as well as an increase in the number of international overnight visitors to Dubai spurred by growing air connectivity. Both these factors are expected to contribute to higher demand, which will, in turn, increase the tourism sector’s contribution to Dubai’s gross domestic product.
Alex Kyriakidis, president and managing director for the Middle East and Africa region at Marriott International, said Marriott plans to nearly double its presence in this market in the next five years to capitalise on growing demand especially in the period leading to Expo 2020.
“Dubai is now home to 30 of our properties across the world’s most-renowned brands, making Marriott International the largest hotel operator in the city. We see great potential in the future of this destination, and continue to support the efforts of Dubai Tourism while remaining focused on creating memorable experiences for visitors across Marriott’s brands,” he said.
Factbox: Quotes from industry players highlighting the achievement
1. Chris Newman, Chief Operating Officer of Emaar Hospitality Group:
“Tourism and hospitality are core contributors to the city’s economy, which gain strength from a robust aviation infrastructure and Dubai’s reputation as a global leisure and business hub. We see significant growth prospects for the industry, and the availability of world-class rooms — from ultra-luxury to midscale — will further add to the appeal of Dubai as a preferred destination for visitors from around the world.”
2. Rudi Jagersbacher, president, Middle East, Africa & Turkey for Hilton Worldwide said:
“We have been welcoming guests to Dubai for over 15 years, and in this time have seen the emirate’s hospitality industry and our presence here grow from strength to strength. We have confidence in Dubai’s longevity as a thriving and exciting place for any hoteliers to operate, and we continue to work alongside our investor partners to solidify the emirate’s position as a leading global destination.”
3. Stefan Leser, Group Chief Executive Officer of Jumeirah Group:
“We are exceptionally proud of the contribution Jumeirah Group makes to the development of Dubai as a world-class hospitality and tourism destination. In December, Jumeirah Al Naseem will open with 430 rooms adding to our existing portfolio of luxury properties at Madinat Jumeirah, that includes Jumeirah Al Qasr, Jumeirah Mina A’Salam, Jumeirah Dar Al Masyaf. We currently operate 9 properties in Dubai with an inventory of 3,208 hotel rooms, suites and villas.”