Packed Dubai looks to grow hotel capacity

Dubai’s 32,000 hotel rooms have reached 100 percent capacity this year and the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) says future developments are just part of the task to meet the demand. With a further 18,000 rooms to be completed by 2008 and 20,000 more by 2010, the Government of Dubai has planned for the continuing boom in tourism and business according to a report in ‘Emirates Today.’

This year the government announced a plan for a $27 billion (Dh99bn) hotel district within Dubailand, which will add 29,200 rooms, nearly doubling today’s figures.

The Bawadi district, as it will be known, will be completed by 2016, and include the largest hotel in the world, AsiaAsia, which will have 6,500 rooms of which 5,100 will be four-star and 1,400 five-star.  Tourism chiefs in Dubai have defended this move towards the luxury market and said most visitors were willing to pay that little bit extra for the five-star treatment.

Eyad Abdul Rahman, media relations manager for the DTCM, said “Dubai caters for all kinds of rooms from standard to five-star, but excels in the luxury market.” 

“Of course, Dubai is the only city in the world that has mainly four-and five-star hotels, but there are still affordable rooms,” he added. “Last summer we were at 85 per cent capacity but now we are at 100 per cent this year,  this is evidence that our system is popular.”

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The city’s top two tourist providers are the United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia, where industry insiders have said travellers’ perception of Dubai is of high quality, with prices set in relation to this.

Arif Al Shihi, officer of information at DTCM, said the government was in the process of building more hotels that may make prices competitive.  In a recent survey, statistics compiled by DTCM figures showed a 13 per cent rise in tourists in the past two years. “The main reason for the high prices is the dependency of the exhibitions and there is no law to stop this. It is business,” he added.
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