Solid growth in tourism for Dubai

Monday, 12 March 2012 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Dubai has further consolidated its position on the global tourism map with an impressive all-round performance in 2011 registering a 10 per cent growth in visitor numbers which soared to 9.3 million, said a senior official.

The hotels and hotel apartments in Dubai have registered solid occupancy levels during the year besides posting an impressive growth in hotel guest numbers, cruise passengers, revenues, guestnights and average length of stay, remarked Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) Director General Khalid A. bin Sulayem.

“The stellar performance of the hospitality industry in the Gulf tourism hub speak volumes about the success of the aggressive marketing and promotional initiatives by DTCM to boost tourism sector’s growth in one of the most challenging environments,” remarked bin Sulayem.

He was speaking to the media after releasing the results today at the ITB-2012 in Berlin where Dubai tourism industry is making a strong presence.

Commenting on the growth, bin Sulayem, said: “We have been successful in boosting the number of tourists to Dubai due to our initiatives to enhance our position in established markets and tap new and emerging tourism source markets.”

Dubai hosted an impressive 9.3 million hotel guests and cruise passengers in 2011, up by 10 per cent compared with the previous year’s 8.49 million. Out of this, 7.26 million guests stayed with hotels, up from 6.56 million recorded in 2012.

The guestnights rose to 32.8 million in 2011, registering a 23 per cent jump in growth when compared to the previous year. The hotels contributed to 23.2 million guestnights, he added.

The hotel apartments witnessed an increase of over two million guests with these properties contributing 9.5 million guestnights last year as against 7.5 million guestnights in 2010. Similarly, the average length of stay stood 3.6 days, up by 12 per cent compared with the previous year.

“The substantial gains by hotels and hotel apartments reflect, once again, the vibrancy and dynamism of the tourism industry in the emirate,” the tourism chief remarked.

According to Bin Sulayem, the hotel establishments’ revenues in Dubai registered a 20 per cent growth to hit Dh16 billion last year compared to the revenues netted year before.

“Out of this Dh13.6 billion were of the hotels, up considerably compared to 2012’s Dh11.2 billion. Hotel apartments too recorded considerable gains by posting Dh2.2 billion last year, up from Dh1.9 billion in 2010,” he added.

The impressive performance by hotels and hotel apartments were recorded despite a five per cent increase in the number of hotel rooms and hotel apartment flats which stood last year at 53,828 rooms and 21,015 hotel apartment flats.

However, the number of hotels and hotel apartments last year was 575, up from 573 in 2010, he pointed out.

According to him, the contribution of cruise tourism to Dubai tourism industry’s growth has also been enlarged with an increase in the number of cruise passengers last year.

He said the department has intensified its efforts to build on the success achieved last year through a variety of measures, including enhanced networking with the travel and tourism industry in different parts of the world with the help of the network of 18 overseas representative offices operated by the DTCM.

The marketing and promotion drive for the year started in Australia and New Zealand which promises to yield significant results in the remainder of the year and beyond, he added.  

The department plans to participate in over 25 major travel and tourism exhibitions across the world in addition to holding Dubai workshops in 10 countries during this year.

On its top 20 source markets, DTCM chief said in 2011, Saudi Arabia emerged at the top with 873,152 guests, followed by India (702,142), UK (643,196), Iran (476,708) and the US (462,653).

Germany ranked sixth with 275,663 guests, while Kuwait and Russia scooped seventh and eighth positions with 273,253 and 255,746 guests, respectively.

Oman was 9th on the list with 223,993 guests followed by Pakistan (221,374), China (193,791), Australia (179,214), France (152,439), Egypt (149,130), Philippines (125,408), Qatar (122,319), Italy (105,523), Jordan (95,818), Bahrain (91,238) and Lebanon (90,984).