Dubai welcomed 5.5 million tourists in the first half of 2013, representing an 11% increase year-on-year, and illustrating that the emirate is well on its way to achieving its Tourism Vision for 2020.
The visitor figures for the first six months of the year, released by Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), show increases across all key indicators.
Ireland is a rapidily growing source market for Dubai, experiencing a 16% increase in visitors in the first half of 2013.
The occupancy rate for hotel rooms and hotel apartments saw steady growth during
the first half of the year. Hotel room occupancy averaged 84.6 % over the six month
period, an increase of 2.8 % on the first half of 2012, while the occupancy rate for hotel
apartments was 85.8 %, up 6.5 % year on year. Total guest nights also saw a significant
13% rise, equalling an additional 2.5 million over-night stays from January to June 2013
versus the same period in 2012.
This increase is more significant when taking into account that Dubai has 16 more hotel
establishments than it did at the end of June 2012, bringing the total number of hotels
in the city to 603 and hotel rooms to 81,492 – a 7.2 % increase since the end of the
first half of 2012. Hotel openings during this period included the JW Marriott Marquis,
Oberoi Hotel Dubai, and JA Ocean View Hotel.
The monthly breakdown of visitor numbers illustrates that events and seasonal
attractions play a large part in the growth of tourists to Dubai as it provides visitors with
even more rewarding lifestyle experiences. Annual events such as the Dubai Shopping
Festival, Dubai World Cup and Summer Is Dubai are all extremely popular with oversees
travelers, while the emirate has played host to some of the world’s top acts in the
first half of the year, including Justin Bieber’s first concert in the Middle East and the
renowned Cirque du Soleil.
The released figures also highlight the success of Dubai’s position as a summer tourism
destination, showcasing the month of June as the third busiest month for hotel guests
after January and March.
Ian Scott, Director UK & Ireland, Dubai Tourism, said: “The growth recorded
for the first half of the year is on target for our medium term plans and is, most
importantly, sustainable. As the number of holidaymakers to the emirate increases, so
does the breadth of accommodation to meet demand.
“The city’s world-class infrastructure also ensures that we are able to continue to grow
our visitor numbers, with Dubai now being home to the world’s second-ranked airport
in terms of traffic as well as home to the Emirates airline group, which flies out of seven
airports in the UK and Ireland and is thus a critical contributor to our UK and Irish
* Announced earlier this year under the directive of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed
bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of
Dubai, Dubai’s Tourism Vision for 2020 sets out how the city will double its annual
visitor numbers from 10 million in 2012 to 20 million in 2020.
Spearheaded by the DTCM, the strategy is to position Dubai as the leading destination
for both leisure and business travel by continuously evolving its diverse tourism offering
and continuing to attract visitors from around the world.
Dubai offers year-round sunshine, golden sandy beaches and arid deserts full of
adventure. Dubai has a reputation as one of the world’s leading destinations and
offers an array of indoor and outdoor activities for adults and children alike.
Visitors can enjoy local culture, world-class shopping, a selection of hotels and self-catering accommodation ranging from affordable to some of the most luxurious in the world.