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New hotel stock drives visitor figures in Dubai

Dubai welcomed 8.36 million international overnight visitors in the first six months of 2019, posting a positive three per cent in tourism volume growth compared to the same period last year.

The new figures, released by the Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing in Dubai, reinforce the continued strength of the emirate’s tourism sector.

The largest traffic generators as well as newer high-potential segments have set a strong preparatory pace to fuel Dubai’s climb to becoming the most visited global destination.

Helal Saeed Almarri, director general, Dubai Tourism, commented: “Tourism is one of the cornerstones of Dubai’s diversified economic growth, and we measure success based on our ability to aggressively advance towards our goal to be the number one most visited and most preferred city as envisioned by sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, ruler of Dubai.

“The consequent rise in value creation opportunities, and more inclusive sector participation are core priorities, as we equally strive to sustainably grow GDP contribution.”

India once again led the pack, drawing the highest half year volumes with 997,000 visitors – particularly noteworthy given the severe air traffic and seat capacity challenges due to geopolitical volatilities.

Dubai continued to drive booking interest from Indians on a mass scale largely due to high-impact delivery of segment and season-specific campaigns across the most accessible tier-one and tier-two cities.

Coming in strong as Dubai’s second largest feeder market once again, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia delivered 755,000 visitors at two per cent year-on-year growth over six months with a notable 4.9 per cent increase over the Eid break alone – signifying continued stability in Dubai’s attractiveness for Saudi families and millennials.

According to the tourism ministry, establishments delivered a combined 15.71 million occupied room nights during the first six months of the year, which was a five per cent increase over the same period in 2018.

Between January and June 2019, several new hotels – Waldorf Astoria Dubai International Financial Centre, W Hotel Palm Jumeirah, Studio One Hotel, Rove at the Park at Dubai Parks and Resorts, Premier Inn Hotel Al Jadaf and Vida Emirates Hills — were added to the city’s portfolio.

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