Dubai attracts record number of tourists, but growth rate slows
Dubai attracted a record number of tourists in the first six months despite a major slowdown in the growth rate of previous years.
About 5.82 million tourists checked into the emirate’s 634 hotels and hotel apartments in the first half of the year, reflecting a 2.3 per cent rise over the same period last year, according to Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing.
Last year, the number of tourists increased by 11 per cent on the figure for 2012. In 2011, there was an uplift of 10 per cent on the previous year.
There were 603 hotels and hotel apartments accounting for 81,492 rooms during the first half of last year.
“Airport upgrades and a 20 per cent reduction in the number of flights could have affected the numbers,” said Rashid Aboobacker, a senior consultant with TRI Hospitality Consulting.
The runway repairs at Dubai International Airport took 80 days to complete, before ending on July 20.
The top source markets for Dubai remained the same with Saudi Arabia, India, the United Kingdom, the United States, Russia, China, Iran, Oman, Kuwait and Germany taking the top slots.
Among these, the number of travellers from China rose the most at 26 per cent.
Tourists are also staying longer. Guests at hotels stayed for an average of 3.4 days, up by 6.7 per cent, and for 5.7 days at hotel apartments, an increase of 4.1 per cent.
The total first half revenues for hotels touched Dh12.74 billion, up by 10.9 per cent. Hotels and hotel apartments reported increases in room revenue by 15.3 per cent and by 3.8 per cent in food and beverage and other revenues.
Dubai’s hotel room rates are among the most expensive in the world. The average daily room rate this year is expected to touch Dh920.97, up by 5.7 per cent, from last year, even as the occupancy rate is expected to fall 3.3 per cent to 77.4 per cent for the whole year, according to STR Global.
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Updated: August 24, 2014 04:00 AM