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Dubai expected to receive 13 million tourists this year

The number of tourists to Dubai is expected to rise by the end of this year to reach 13 million, reports UAE-based Al Bayan, citing sources in the tourism and hotel sector.

This number, if achieved, will be considered as a new record for the emirate, compared with the 11.6mn tourists Dubai welcomed last year.

The sources add that this number will be a continuation of the strong success Dubai has achieved since the beginning of 2010.

They also stress that the current year has witnessed a strong performance in all the vital sectors that form Dubai’s economy, with the tourism sector, of course, at the forefront.

All those interested in this sector confirm that Dubai is on the right track to implement the objectives of Dubai Vision 2020 to improve the tourism sector.

This is in accordance with the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to increase the number of tourists to Dubai.

Forecasts show that the number of nights spent in Dubai will grow by 10 per cent this year to more than 49.1mn nights, compared with 44.66mn nights last year.

Hotel revenues are expected to exceed AED26 billion, compared with AED24bn recorded in 2014, an increase of 9 per cent.

Occupancy rates in hotels and hotel apartments in Dubai during the first four months of this year reached 90 per cent. This is considered a great indication of what the hotel sector will achieve during this year.

Sources expect occupancy rates to reach 87 per cent in 2015, a growth rate of 5 per cent from 83 per cent last year.

Dubai’s top 10 tourism source markets list included Saudi Arabia, which has maintained its lead for the fourth year in a row, followed by India, the United Kingdom, the United States, Germany, China, Kuwait, Oman, Iran and Russia, according to the same sources.

Mohammed Al Habtoor, Vice Chairman and CEO, Al Habtoor Group says that this year, Dubai is continuing the tourism boom that started years ago.

He adds: “This boom has contributed to raising the appetite of investors to strongly enter the hospitality sector,” pointing out that the growth rates achieved by the tourism and hospitality sectors in Dubai during the current and past few years are increasing.

Guido de Wilde, Senior Vice President at Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. in the Middle East, says: “2015 is an exciting year for Starwood in Dubai as we will open the emirate’s first St. Regis and W branded properties by the end of this year.”

“We also signed an agreement to bring the Aloft and Element brands to Dubai for the first time,” he adds.