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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 16 December 2018

Eating out in Dubai is about to get cheaper

Dubai government has announced a reduction in the fee on sales at hotels in the emirate

Hotels and restaurants in Dubai will not serve alcohol on Monday evening and Tuesday during the day. Ryan Carter / The National
Hotels and restaurants in Dubai will not serve alcohol on Monday evening and Tuesday during the day. Ryan Carter / The National

Eating out in Dubai is about to get cheaper, after plans were announced to cut the fee on sales at hotels in the emirate.

The municipality fee on sales at hotel facilities in Dubai – which will include the cost of room bookings – will be cut to 7 per cent from 10 per cent following a directive by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai.

The plans are aimed at enhancing Dubai’s status as a major international tourist destination.

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, the Crown Prince of Dubai, confirmed the news on Twitter, saying the decree will expand the series of measures announced recently, which are aimed at supporting companies operating in Dubai, reducing the cost of doing business and attracting new investments.

“Dubai is one of the world's most popular tourist destinations,” he said.

“Last year we welcomed 16 million visitors & look forward to receiving 20 million in 2020 when we host the Expo. Our goal is to preserve these gains & consolidate our position as a competitive global destination.”

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Dubai received 15.8 million overnight visitors in 2017, a 6.2 per cent increase from 2016, according to figures released in February by Dubai Tourism – an agency of the government of Dubai. The average length of stay for leisure visitors increased by 0.3 days to 6.2 days over the course of the year, according to the agency.

The traditional top three tourist markets held their positions last year, with India contributing 2.1 million visitors in 2017, followed by Saudi Arabia with 1.5 million tourists, and the UK with 1.3 million visitors.

However, newer markets recorded the biggest growth in visitors.

China moved up to fifth position with 764,000 tourists, a 41 per cent year-on-year increase, and there was a 212 per cent increase in visitors from Russia, which sat in 8th position with 530,000 visitors.