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MENAFN - Khaleej Times - 19/03/2014
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(MENAFN -Khaleej Times) dubai, which spent more than 110 billion to transform itself into the middle east?s commercial and entertainment hub, is seeking to attract 20 million tourists annually by the end of the decade, helal saeed almarri, director-general of the dubai tourism and commerce marketing, or dtcm, said in an interview

Dubai plans to almost double the number of hotel rooms by 2020 as it expects a surge of visitors to the emirate ahead of that year’s world expo.Dubai, which spent more than 110 billion to transform itself into the middle east’s commercial and entertainment hub, is seeking to attract 20 million tourists annually by the end of the decade, helal saeed almarri, director-general of the dubai tourism and commerce marketing, or dtcm, said in an interview. to do that, it needs to raise the number of hotel rooms to as many as 160,000, many of them not in the luxury category dubai is known for, he said.“none of these rooms are being built specifically for the expo or any one event,” almarri pointed out. “they’re being built purely because of the core tourism numbers. dubai won’t turn into a ghost town after the expo.”Dubai lured 11 million tourists last year, up 11 per cent from 2012, contributing to economic expansion of 4.9 per cent, the fastest pace in six years. tourism accounted for about 20 per cent of gross domestic product in 2013, and is forecast to increase between seven per cent and nin per cent through 2020, almarri said.East and wes
While saudi arabia and india represented two of the biggest markets for dubai in 2013, according to dtcm data, the emirate draws tourists from both east and west. dubai airport passenger traffic grew 14 pr cent in 2013 after expanding 13 per cent a year earlier. it hit a record 6.4 million in january.

“we have a very fragmented source markets, no single market exceeds 10 per cent of tourists,” almarri said, “that is obviously very positive for us, because it allows us to circumvent any anomalies in terms of economies or currencies.”The emirate’s expanding hospitality industry helped boost mall and retail revenue for emaar properties. the developer of the middle east’s biggest shopping center, dubai mall, plans to raise as much as 2.45 billion from listing 25 per cent of emaar malls group, the company said on march 15.Dubai plans to spend about 8 billion ahead of the expo.Easier law
His highness shaikh mohammed bin rashid al maktoum, vice-president and prime minister of the uae and ruler of dubai, moved in january to speed up hotel projects.The period required for preliminary consent was cut to two months from as many as six, and a one-stop approval centre was established.Government land for developers of three- and four-star hotels will be granted on “favourable” terms, the dtcm said in january.Officials want to boost the supply of more affordable hotels to cater to business travellers and holidaying families.About a third of dubai’s 85,000 rooms are in luxury hotels. it’s offering to waive fees if landowners change development plans to build cheaper accommodation, and as much as a five-year exemption from a 10 per cent fee on revenue.“in 2020, five-star hotels rooms will still be the majority, but we’d need the three and four-star category” to build a more balanced market, almarri said.


Khaleej Times

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