Chinese visitors drive record figures for Dubai tourism

Chinese visitors drive record figures for Dubai tourism Grosvenor House, Dubai, is considered a global leader, having been recognised as the World’s Leading Business Hotel & Apartments by the World Travel Awards

Dubai’s hotels welcomed more than 5.8 million tourists in the first half of 2014, up around one per cent compared to the same period last year, according to stats released by Dubai’s Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing.

Hoteliers and hotel apartment operators saw total first half revenues reach Dhs12.74 billion ($3.18 billion), an increase of 10.9 per cent year-on-year.

His Excellency Helal Saeed Almarri, director general of DTCM commented: “Our strategy continues to be positioning Dubai as the must-experience family destination: as such we are constantly diversifying our tourism offering and increasing our hotel portfolio to attract, and cater to, a broader market of visitors.

“The figures for the first half of 2014 are encouraging and we continue to build on this growth to ensure a successful second half of the year.

“The figures show an increase in visitors from many of our key source markets – for example we are seeing strong growth from China, Brazil, Australia and many countries in Europe.

“The increase comes despite the reduction in flights due to the refurbishment and upgrading of the runways at Dubai International, which is testament to the work conducted by Dubai Airports and our industry partners in ensuring minimal disruption.”

Dubai is home to a number of icons, incluiding the famous Burj Al Arab

Total guest nights also rose, with figures up by 6.7 per cent for hotels and 4.1 per cent for hotel apartments.

Average length of stay reached 3.4 days in hotels and 5.7 days in hotel apartments during the first six months of the year.

Dubai currently has 88,680 hotel rooms across 634 establishments, including 7,000 rooms that were added in the last 12 months, the statement from DTCM said.

Many of these are considered among the best in the world.

JW Marriott Marquis Dubai, for example, is considered the World’s Leading New Hotel by the World Travel Awards, while Atlantis, The Palm, is recognised as the World’s Leading Landmark Resort.

At the same time the Burj Al Arab is considered the World’s Leading All Suite Hotel by the voters at World Travel Awards, while Dubai itself took the title of World’s Leading Destination in 2013.

The emirate’s top ten tourism source markets remained mostly unchanged compared to the previous year and included Saudi Arabia, India, UK, USA, Russia, China, Iran, Oman, Kuwait and Germany.

Visitors from China in particular rose by 26 per cent, attributable to the “increasing propensity of Chinese residents to travel overseas and the targeted campaigns of DTCM and its partners,” the statement said.

Atlantis, The Palm, is considered a global leader by the World Travel Awards

Over 14,500 Chinese delegates from Nu Skin also visited Dubai for an incentive trip in April, representing the largest corporate holiday ever held in the UAE.

The figures are in line with Dubai’s bold Vision 2020, as part of which it plans to attract 20 million tourists per year by 2020, Almarri added.

“We’re on target for our medium-term plans.

“More importantly, this growth is sustainable and we are moving in the right direction to reach our Tourism Vision for 2020 targets.”

In the first half of the year Dubai hosted some top events including the Dubai Shopping Festival, Emirates Airline Festival of Literature and the Dubai World Cup, which have all contributed towards the growth in visitor numbers.

Looking forward to the second half of 2014, the events calendar is even busier with plenty of events scheduled including Dubai Summer Surprises and Modhesh World which is currently taking place through to September; Disney on Ice; GITEX Shopper; DP World Tour Championship; Eid in Dubai; the Rugby 7’s and Dubai International Film Festival, and much more which will contribute to attracting visitors in the second half of the year.