Dubai Accommodated 11.6 Million Hotel Guests in 2014
Photo by David Cogswell
Dubai appears on track to meet its goal of welcoming 20 million tourists annually by the year 2020.
This month, Dubai's Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing announced that 2014 was a banner year for the country's tourism industry, with hotel establishments housing more than 11.6 million guests over the course of the year, according to eTurboNews.com.
That figure represents a 5.6 percent increase over 2013's total.
The top guest source markets for Dubai in 2014 were similar to the previous year. Saudi Arabia was once again the top source market, followed by India, the U.K., the U.S., Iran, Oman, China, Kuwait, Russia and Germany.
The Chinese source market experienced nearly 25 percent growth in 2014, rising from tenth to seventh. Meanwhile, India and the U.K. saw growth at about half that rate, boasting increases of 12.2 and 11.3 percent from 2013 respectively.
"The 2014 figures demonstrate healthy year-on-year growth for hotel establishment guest numbers with significant increases from Asia, Africa and Western Europe," said DTCM Director General Helal Saeed Almarri in a statement. "The strong growth in hotel guests from China is hugely positive and reflects our targeted work in this market. For example, in April 2014 tourism industry partners from across the emirate collaborated closely to host the largest-ever delegate group from China with the NuSkin conference, bringing more than 14,500 Chinese visitors to Dubai over a three-week period."
"Such events, as well as our hosting of the largest ever tourism industry FAM trip from India in December 2014 (as well as the steps we've taken) to leverage the exemption of pre-entry visas for all European Union member states, are crucial to further strengthen ties with key markets and ensure that Dubai is positioned as a destination of choice for both new travelers and repeat visitors," added Almarri.
Keep in mind that last year's federal ruling in the United Arab Emirates that exempted citizens of more than a dozen European member states from requiring a pre-entry visa to the UAE contributed to the increases in hotel guests from Europe.
The 13 European member states joined 15 others who were already qualified for the exemption.
Breaking the growth down even further, Dubai's hotels saw guest nights increase to 44.7 million in 2014, signaling an increase of 7.4 percent over 2013. Meanwhile, the average length of stay increased slightly from 3.78 days to 3.84 days.
What's more, revenues for hoteliers and operators experienced significant growth as well, with total revenues reaching AED 23.9 billion ($6.5 billion) for 2014, a nearly 10 percent increase from 2013.
"Growth in revenue is notable, considering the 9.2 percent increase in available rooms in Dubai during this period," said Almarri. "At the start of 2014, the emirate's portfolio consisted of 84,534 rooms across 611 properties; by the end of the year this had increased to 92,333 rooms across 657 properties."
"The figures indicate that our hospitality industry is in a healthy state and, most importantly, that the growth is sustainable, which is crucial when it comes to meeting our Vision for 2020 targets."
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