Revenues for hoteliers and hotel apartment operators in Dubai reached Dh11.62 billion ($3.16 billion) in the first half of this year, up 18.5 per cent on H1 2012, while the city drew more than 5.5 million tourists during the period.
The tourist numbers represent an 11.1 per cent year-on-year increase, indicating that Dubai is on the way to achieving its Tourism Vision for 2020.
The first half visitor numbers, released by Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), show increases across all key indicators, including hotel establishment guests, hotel and hotel apartment revenues, room occupancy and average length of stay.
Announced earlier this year under the directive of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai and spearheaded by DTCM, Dubai’s Tourism Vision for 2020 sets out how the city will double its annual visitor numbers from 10 million in 2012 to 20 million in 2020, a statement said.
Helal Saeed Almarri, director-general of DTCM, said: “The figures for the first half of 2013 are extremely encouraging and indicate that we are on the way to achieving our Tourism Vision for 2020. Our strategy is to position Dubai as a foremost destination for both leisure and business travellers by continuously evolving our broad and diverse tourism offering, and attracting visitors from a range of source markets, including targeting a new generation of first-time travellers from emerging markets. The increase in visitors from each of our key source markets is particularly encouraging, with a number of these markets showing particularly strong growth, including the GCC countries, China, India, Australia and many countries in Europe.”
Dubai’s top 10 tourism source markets remained the same as those for the first half of 2012, with some slight changes in positioning, and reflect the diversity of visitors who are attracted to the city. Saudi Arabia, India, UK, USA, Russia, Germany, Kuwait, Oman, China and Iran made up the top 10 for January to June 2013.
Despite already being Dubai’s primary source market, Saudi Arabia experienced the most growth, with visitor numbers swelling by 31.6 per cent to 710,472. Australia (ranked 13th) also recorded a sizeable rise in visitor numbers, with growth rates of 24.3 per cent reflecting the increased flight volume resulting from the partnership between Emirates Airline and Qantas, formalised in April. The Netherlands entered the top 20 source markets for the first time, at number 20, with a 17 per cent increase in visitors.
As many as 5,583,379 visitors stayed in Dubai’s 600 plus hotels.