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MENAFN - Emirates News Agency (WAM) - 22/01/2013

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(MENAFN - Emirates News Agency (WAM)) More than 276 hotels and hotel apartments are located within 2km of one of five mega shopping malls in Dubai, a Market research conducted by Reed Travel Exhibitions the organiser of Arabian Travel Market 2013 (ATM) which takes place at Dubai World Trade Centre on 6-9 May 2013, has shown.

"The original research was conducted to look at how urban tourism has grown exponentially over the past two decades and how the retail landscape has expanded in parallel, to mark ATM's own twentieth anniversary celebrations," said Mark Walsh, Portfolio Director at Reed Travel Exhibitions.

"Five of the leading shopping malls in Dubai were identified and ATM researched the number of hotel and hotel apartments within a two kilometre radius of each of them, or in other words a five-minute taxi ride," he added.

According to Alpen Capital, retail sales in the Gulf region will hit 270bn in 2016, which it puts down in part to an expanding tourism and hospitality industry. Nowhere is that more evident than in Dubai, which is home to five of the region's largest shopping malls, namely Dubai Mall, (the region's largest), Mall of the Emirates, Al Ghurair Centre, Burjuman Centre, and Deira City Centre.

Of the 387 hotels and 188 hotel apartments registered by the Dubai Government Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) at the end of 2011, 48% were within 2km of one of these five shopping malls. Proving just how well developed the relationship between retail and hospitality has become.

The actual breakdown was as follows; - Dubai Mall: 19 hotels/hotel apartments (9 five-star hotels '&' 5 four-star hotels) - Mall of the Emirates: 37 hotels/hotel apartments (9 five-star hotels '&' 5 four-star hotels) - Al Ghurair Shopping Centre: 16 hotels/hotel apartments (3 five-star '&' 6 four-star) - Burjuman Shopping Centre: 131 hotels/hotel apartments (6 five-star '&' 18 four-star hotels) - Deira City Centre: 73 hotels/hotel apartments (8 five-star '&' 21 four-star hotels) A number of other interesting statistics were also revealed - even if the search was reduced to within just 1km of these five malls - there are still 125 hotels and hotel apartments representing 24% of Dubai's total hotel stock.

Another interesting fact was that between 2005 and 2008 when Mall of the Emirates, Ibn Battuta Mall, Dubai Festival City and Dubai Mall opened, the number of hotels in Dubai grew from 371 to 519 an increase of 40%. Indeed between 2007 and 2008 alone hotel stock grew by 17%.

"Since the end of the Dubai property boom, real estate has gradually begun to recover, but hotel trading performances have been more impressive. According to Alpen Capital estimates, hotels in Dubai averaged 80%, occupancy during 2012, with US228 revenue per available room (RevPAR) one of the highest in the world," said Walsh.

Twenty years ago, Dubai had only three major shopping malls, Al Ghurair Centre which opened in 1981, Burjuman Centre and Wafi City which both opened in 1992. Deira City Centre did not open until the end of 1995 and it would be another ten years before Mall of the Emirates would open.

"The hotels and retail destinations in Dubai complement each other very well. Rotana has 15 city hotels in Dubai which have witnessed a 25% increase in GCC guests in 2012 compared to 2011," said Amin Dakkak, Director of Marketing '&' Communications of Rotana Hotel Management Corporation.

A full schedule of events and networking sessions will mark ATM's 20th anniversary and clearly the rise of retail and urban tourism has played a significant part in the travel and tourism growth not only in Dubai and the UAE but the wider GCC.

"With all of our hotel apartments in close proximity to major shopping malls, the retail sector is very important to us. We have created permanent weekend shopping packages targeting GCC visitors," said Mohamed Awadalla, Area Vice President of TI'ME Hotels.

This year's show will feature sponsored floor trails guiding visitors directly to the industry sector they are looking for using sponsored floor trails, allowing them to fast track their way around the show. These floor trails include shopping, air travel, budget travel, careers, health and wellbeing, luxury, shopping, sports, and cruise and water-based travel.

The 2012 edition of the Middle East's leading travel exhibition showcased 2,436 exhibitors covering over 20,000 square metres and attracted more than 23,000 attendees.


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