Occupancy remained flat at 70% while revenues grew to Dh13.27 billion
The Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), Government of Dubai, has announced that that the emirate’s hotel establishments hosted 8,684,387 guests in 2010, an increase over 7,845,819 in 2009.
This includes including 390,255 cruise tourists in 2010, compared to 262,740 cruise passengers.
Among these, 6,561,999 guests stayed in the emirate’s hotels last year, compared to 6,105,813 in 2009, while the number of guests in hotel apartments grew 17.25 per cent to 1,732,133 last year, compared to 1,477,266 in 2009.
Guestnights, that reflects the average length of stay, across all types of properties increased by 17 per cent to 26,626,679 last year, up from 22,846,778 million in 2009. This reflects an average of about three nights stay per guest.
This includes 19 million guestnights recorded by hotels last year, up from 16.69 million in 2009, while hotel apartments recorded 7.59 million guestnights in 2010, compared to 6.14 million in 2009.
The emirate’s hotel capacity has also witnessed growth last year. The number of hotels and hotel apartments increased to 573 last year, compared to 540 in 2009. About 30 new hotels opened in Dubai last year, raising the number of hotels to 382 by the end of 2010, up from 352 by the end of 2009. In contrast, Dubai added only three hotel apartments to its inventory of 188 in 2009 to 191 in 2010.
The total room capacity witnessed growth to 70,955 rooms and hotel apartments at the end of last year, compared to 61,487 in 2009.
The emirates added 7,696 rooms to its hotel inventory last year to reach 51,115, up from 43,419 in 2009. However, 1,772 hotel apartments were added to the capacity to 19,840 last year, up from 18,068 in 2009.
Tourism revenues reached Dh13,272,330,000 last year compared to Dh12,462,170,000 in 2009, DTCM statistics show. Due to the market conditions, hotel rates came under pressure.
The bulk of this, or Dh11.28 billion came from the hotels, compared to Dh10.566 billion recorded in 2009. Revenues from hotel apartments also grew marginally last year to Dh1.98 billion last year, up from Dh1.89 billion in 2009.
Although hotel occupancy rate remained flat at 70 per cent across 2010 and 2009, occupancy in hotel apartments have increased two per cent to 68 per cent last year up from 66 per cent, despite adding 9,468 rooms to the overall capacity last year.
Khalid Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Director-General of the DTCM, said, “This positive result despite the global economic situation in the last few years. There are continuous cooperation between the DTCM and its partners in the public and private sectors in marketing the emirate at new international markets.
“The DTCM invites every year hundreds of inward missions in the tourism sector and the media to promote and showcase new projects and update their information on tourism attractions of Dubai and DTCM initiatives.”
Top source markets
In 2010, the United Kingdom, India, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United States became the top five source market for Dubai’s tourism industry.
As many as 719,889 British tourists stayed in Dubai’s hotels, followed by 638,103 from India, 526,598 from Iran, 519,001 from Saudi Arabia and 437,723 from the United States.
Tourism industry officials welcomed the positive outcome in Dubai’s tourism industry.
Abdeen Nasralla, Vice President of Meydan Hotels, the newly launched hospitality arm of Meydan City Corporation, said, “Dubai has already a prominent position in the global tourism map. The emirate can attract large pool of tourists due to its excellent tourism infrastructure. Dubai also blends old and new charm with so many new developments coming up.
“We have received good response from new markets such as South Africa, China and Russia where we have promoted Dubai and our properties. Although Meydan is a new hotel, it has received good response, so as Bab Al Shams.
“On certain occasions, Dubai’s hotels have witnessed 100 per cent occupancy and we expect this to go up this year.”
Ghassan Aridi CEO of Alpha Tours – one of the largest destination management companies (DMC), said, “Extensive marketing campaigns as well as close cooperation among DTCM and the private sector have helped Dubai to attract more tourists last year. The last three years, the market has witnessed correction with the emergence of budget airlines and budget hotels in the region that has helped balance the tourist mix. We expect 2011 to be better than 2010.
“Alpha Tours witnessed a 20 per cent growth in visitors, driven mostly by tourists from the GCC, China and the MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions) sectors. This year, we expect a 25 per cent growth.”
Peter Payet of Arabian Adventures, the DMC arm of Emirates Group, said, “It is a testament to the tireless work indeed, the dynamic vision of the DTCM, that Dubai continues to be the destination of choice for both leisure and business travelers. The DTCM has implemented a number of key initiatives over the past year, which have resulted in a sustained increase in the number of visitors during this time.
“We commend the DTCM team on their ceaseless efforts, and look forward to further success as the travel and tourism sector continuous to evolve and resonate with international travelers.”
Christophe Landais, Managing Director of Accor Middle East, said, “Dubai’s tourism and hospitality is experiencing positive growth in 2011. There is a healthy increase in the number of tourists and business travelers alike who are staying in our Accor hotels. Comparing 2010 performance with 2009, we observed a 23.43 per cent increase in rooms sold in 2010, and an 8.23 per cent increase in our revenue which signals recovery in the market.”
He said, Accor operates 12 hotels in Dubai.
Dany Dagher, General Manager of Sheraton Jumeirah Beach Resort, said: “DTCM has taken continuous efforts and initiatives driving demand and awareness for Dubai over the years. Their road shows and various programs like ‘Kids go free’ with Emirates Airlines and Hotels was a success in generating demand. In 2010 the total Dubai city occupancy as per STR Global shows a growth of 3.3% compared to previous year.
“They are proactively targeting new markets for this destination with the aim of driving visitors to the country, hence generating more demand for the market and initiating new businesses. Sheraton Jumeirah Beach Resort and Towers participated with DTCM in their exhibitions and initiatives in key destinations in 2009/2010 and we will continue to do in the future. We see a positive growth in occupancies for the hotel from key market feeders such as Europe, Central Asia and Asia Pacific. Our demand compared to same time last year is stronger by 13 per cent.
Russell Sheldon, Senior Vice President, Network Passenger Sales Development, Emirates Airline, “While tourist arrivals levelled-off in 2009, due mainly to the financial crisis, the latter half of 2010 and beginning of 2011 has seen strong growth, witnessed by a rise in travel to Dubai and hotels experiencing high occupancy rates.
“The rebound in tourism, which has contributed significantly to Dubai’s economic recovery, can be attributed to the initiatives taken by DTCM, Emirates Airline and the tourism industry as a whole. Emirates Airline enjoys a close working relationship with DTCM, along with other Dubai stakeholders, which has resulted in innovative joint marketing programmes, reaffirming Dubai as one of the world’s leading tourism destinations.