Dubai Chamber dialogue highlights tourism sector's role as leading driver of economic growth
- United Arab Emirates: Monday, March 11 - 2013 at 14:31
- PRESS RELEASE
Shedding light on tourism, which is one of the key drivers of Dubai's economic growth, the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry organised its latest round of CEO Dialogue on Dubai's Tourism Industry: Achievements, Strengths and Future Growth Prospects at its premises on Monday.
In his opening speech, H.E. Hamad Buamim, Director General, Dubai Chamber, stated that the tourism industry is one of the leading drivers of Dubai's economic growth and despite being buoyant and competitive, there are numerous opportunities for additional investment, especially given future growth forecasts for this important sector.
Accrediting the thriving tourism industry's growth to the stability and security provided by the emirate to all visitors, Buamim said that the large numbers of tourist attractions, a diverse cultural lifestyle, world-class hotels, infrastructure and communications network as well as excellent government support are behind the success of the sector.
The Director General of Dubai Chamber said that Dubai's potential to attract conferences and business tourism because of its strategic location, thriving exhibitions sector and expansion of low-budget airlines are also factors contributing to the rise in visitor numbers in the emirate.
He said that Dubai is working non-stop to attract more travellers to the emirate by expanding its network of plush international hotels while increasing the occupancy rates of hotels and hotel apartments and their revenues as well as continuing with the development of new infrastructural and themed projects targeting a wide section of global tourists.
Buamim added that the tourism sector has been consistently performing well as 10 million tourists visited Dubai during 2012 with a 9.3% growth rate compared to the same period in 2011. Also, the number of guest nights recorded was 37.4 million with a 14% growth rate as the revenue of hotel and hotel apartments rose by 17.9% to reach Dhs18.82bn during the same period, he said.
Buamim anticipated Dubai's visitor numbers to reach 15 million by the year 2015 which will come in the wake of combined efforts driving new growth through a number of initiatives as the hotel rooms' capacity of the emirate is likely to increase to more than 100,000 by 2015, he said.
On his part, Mr. Alan Leibman, Chief Executive Officer, Kerzner International, stated that Dubai's strong public-private sector partnership is behind the success of the tourism sector which has shown sustainable growth in crisis situations as he further stressed that the sector's growth has reflected positively on the emirate's other important sectors like logistics and infrastructure.
Replying to a question on how to attract more Emiratis to the hospitality sector, Mr. Gerald Lawless, President and Group Chief Executive Officer, Jumeirah Group, highlighted the opportunities that Dubai provided to citizens and residents while highlighting the importance of vocational training and awareness.
The availability of opportunities for citizens are more now as this sector offers wide scope in other related professions like engineering, HR and many more as well as good employee benefits, he said.
In response to another question on inadequate tourist facilities for residents and more to overseas tourists, Mr. Lawless informed that residential link was very important to the sector as he said that 60% of the visitors to Wild Wadi Waterpark comprised of local visitors.
Endorsing the success of the tourism sector to the world-class infrastructure of advanced road and metro network as well as airlines and easy visa facilities which attracted a large number of tourists to Dubai, Mr. Lawless expressed his hope that the emirate's winning of the bid to host Expo 2020 will work wonders for its economy, particularly its tourism sector.
On the question of the next big thing for Dubai, the CEO of Jumeirah Group stated that the establishment of international theme parks will sustain tourist interest and help attract more visitors from all over the world to the emirate.
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