The Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing is on track to achieve the emirate’s ambitious goal of hosting 20 million visitors annually by 2020. — KT file photo
Dubai ranked top in the world for its best hotels and superb shopping experience as the host city of World Expo 2020 left behind top tourists’ destinations New York City and London in these categories, according to the world’s largest travel site TripAdvisor’s second annual Cities Survey.
The survey results are based on more than 54,000 responses from those travellers who have recently written TripAdvisor reviews for featured cities around the world. Dubai ranked top for shopping followed by New York City and London. The emirate also ranked top for its best hospitality followed by Cancun (Mexico) and Bangkok (Thailand).
The ranking truly reflects the facilities made available to tourists in the emirate, which hosts the world’s largest shopping, leisure and entertainment destination — The Dubai Mall. In hospitality sector, the emirate is home to the world’s tallest hotel — Marriott Marquis — and the world’s most luxurious hotel Burj Al Arab voted recently by Daily Telegraph survey.
Issam Kazim, CEO of Dubai Corporation of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), said it is a real honour to be recognised by more than 54,000 TripAdvisor’s users as the number one destination in the world for shopping and hotels.
“Dubai Government’s strategy of focusing on the tourism and travel sector as a driver of economic growth and employment creation — and ensuring that retail is a critical part of the destination mix alongside an outstanding selection of hotels with the highest levels of service and facilities — has clearly been recognised and appreciated by travellers around the world,” told Khaleej Times.
“As we strive to reach Dubai Tourism Vision targets of 20 million annual visitors by 2020, and our recently stated aim to become the world’s most visited city, is important that we continue to create new attractions and experiences that contribute to the further growth of Dubai as a destination for business and leisure,” he said.
Last month, Dubai had been named as one of the top 25 places to go worldwide in the Traveller Choice Awards 2014 by TripAdvisor. Earlier this month, Dubai became the single largest city for winning a majority of World Travel Awards among the Middle Eastern cities. These awards are regarded as ‘The Oscars of the Travel Industry.’
The recent data by the DTCM underscores the buoyancy of the hospitality industry that is on track to achieve the emirate’s ambitious goal of hosting 20 million visitors annually by 2020. Official data show that Dubai currently has a stock of more than 600 hotels with nearly 85,000 rooms. There will be an additional 141 hotel establishments added to the market, including 99 hotels and 48 hotel apartments bringing the total to 751 hotel establishments and just under 114,000 rooms as per the current development pipeline for 2014-2016, according to DTCM.
DTCM estimates that Dubai needed a total of between 140,000 to 160,000 rooms to provide accommodation for targeted visitor numbers for 2020.
“Dubai is well-placed to offer world-class shopping and hospitality experience with a wide and superb mix of hotels and shopping centres catering to all segments of travelers from luxury to budget. Be it top-of-the-line international brands or the finest local hospitality, great value is always assured and that is the reason why Dubai comes tops with travellers on TripAdvisor,” Hospitality Management Holdings’ chief executive officer Laurent A. Voivenel told Khaleej Times on Saturday.
“It is also a perfect shopper’s paradise, city that never disappoints no matter what your budget. Where on the one hand it beckons travelers with world’s largest shopping mall, the tallest tower and most luxurious hotels on the other there are fabulous mid-market hotels and shopping malls and souks. We are proud to be part of Dubai’s success,” Voivenel added.
TripAdvisor ranking first for city with the best overall experience was Tokyo. The city also claimed top spots for helpfulness of locals, taxi service, local public transportation, and cleanliness of streets. Tokyo received high marks across the board, as it ranked among the top 10 in 13 of 16 categories in the survey.
“Tokyo has received high marks from TripAdvisor travellers, who praise the city for its hospitality, cleanliness and outstanding public transit system,” said Brooke Ferencsik, director of communications for TripAdvisor.
“New York City was also well decorated in the TripAdvisor Cities Survey, recognised by travellers for its world class restaurants and nightlife.”
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