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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 October 2018

Tourist numbers in Dubai grow 10% over first nine months of year

There were 7.9 million visitors to the emirate through September, with hotel occupancy rates around 80%.

Dubai tourist numbers grew by almost 10 per cent in the first nine months of year, filling up the emirate’s hotel rooms.

Dubai recorded 7.9 million visitors through September. Occupancy levels at hotels and hotel apartments stood at 78.6 per cent and 81 per cent respectively, as the number of guest nights rose to 3.9 days from 3.7 nights. That netted more than Dh15.33 billion for hotels, an increase of 17.1 per cent.

The average daily room rate touched Dh589 for hotels and Dh422 for hotel apartments. There are more than 82,000 rooms across hotels and hotel apartments in the emirate.

“Dubai is definitely on its way back, and it is in tune with the way rest of the world is bouncing back,” said Manav Fernandez, chief operating officer of the Dubai-based marketing firm Insignia.

In the first nine months 10 hotels have opened in the emirate. These include Novotel Dubai Al Barsha near Mall of the Emirates, Mövenpick Hotel Apartments The Square, Sofitel Dubai the Palm, Conrad Dubai, Oberoi Dubai in Business Bay, Anantara Dubai Palm Jumeirah Resort and Spa, and Mövenpick Hotel Jumeirah Lakes Towers. Raviz Center Point in Bur Dubai is scheduled to open by the year end.

Last year Dubai received 10.16 million tourists, crossing the 10 million mark for the first time, and hoteliers collected Dh18.82 billion in revenue, a 17.9 per cent rise. The same year, Dubai added 24 hotels to its landscape, and average room rates rose to Dh588 that year from Dh563.

The top source markets for Dubai remain the same – led by Saudi Arabia, which also reported the most growth in the number of visitors. The kingdom is followed by India, the United Kingdom, the United States, Russia, Kuwait, Germany, Oman, China and Iran.

The tourism figures were announced at London’s World Travel Market. Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing is participating in the trade fair with a 70-member delegation, promoting the Dubai Shopping Festival, DP World Tour Championship, the Emirates Festival of Literature and Art Dubai, among others.

“Events are a key pillar of the Tourism Vision for 2020, with our objective being to transform Dubai from a regional events hub to a global destination for events and entertainment in order to attract an increased number of visitors to Dubai,” said Helal Saeed Almarri, the director general of DTCM.

Dubai expects to increase its number of tourists to 20 million by 2020, when it hopes to host the World Expo.

ssahoo@thenational.ae