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Dubai has led the way in global tourism recovery despite the challenging times the world has faced due to Covid-19.
In the latest data published by Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), Dubai welcomed 3.7 million visitors, a year since the city reopened its borders on July 7 last year. The numbers are during the 11-month period from July 2020 to May 2021 and reinforce the city’s credentials as one of the top destinations for tourists from around the world. It also underscored Dubai’s commitment when it comes to the health and safety of residents as well as visitors.
“The new data reveals that Dubai’s tourism rebound is gathering pace despite the current challenges faced by international markets,” Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council, said on his website, on Tuesday.
“The growing momentum of recovery not only reflects the fundamental strengths of Dubai’s tourism sector and the diversity of its source markets but also the emirate’s economic resilience and agility in the face of a rapidly fluctuating global environment,” he added.
The Crown Prince said that one of the prime reasons for the achievement being that the city has been able to set the gold standard when it comes to safety protocols, making it one of the world’s safest destinations.
“We have seen inspiring commitment and proactivity from all stakeholders in the public and private sector to work together to adopt innovative approaches that can consolidate the sustainable recovery of the sector. Furthermore, Dubai’s ability to implement a rigorous precautionary protocol regime has made the city one of the world’s safest destinations for travellers. As we gear up to host Expo 2020, these exceptional standards will enable us to ensure the event provides the highest global benchmarks of safety and security for all visitors,” the Crown Prince said.
The data revealed that Dubai received more than 1.7 million visitors between July and December last year from markets that were open, and an additional two million visitors in the first five months of 2021.
Meanwhile, Helal Saeed Al Marri, director-general of Dubai Tourism, said that the Dubai leadership’s swift measures in battling the pandemic played a significant role in the restart of tourism.
“The series of swift strategic measures taken by Dubai’s leadership enabled the city to demonstrate a high level of resilience, foresight and agility in managing the pandemic and eventually take the lead in the restart of international tourism,” said Al Marri.
“The positive performance also validates the effectiveness of Dubai’s public-private partnership model and our robust international marketing campaigns designed to sustain Dubai’s appeal as the destination of choice for global travellers. The critical role played by our strategic partners such as Emirates, flydubai, Dubai Airports and other industry stakeholders, as they consistently conveyed the message that Dubai is open and safe for all travellers, contributed immensely towards industry stabilisation,” he added.
DTCM said that the provision of a relief package worth over Dh 7.1 billion in fighting the pandemic, combined with a phased reopening of key sectors and Dubai Tourism’s strong collaboration with local stakeholders and over 3,000 partners worldwide, helped the industry chart a steady course for recovery.
Dubai’s recovery strategy, implemented in close coordination with stakeholders, proved crucial in reinvigorating the domestic hospitality market in May 2020, preparing the ground for the return of international visitors to the city in July 2020.
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Demand for staycations among UAE residents, both Emiratis and expatriates from over 200 nationalities, drove tourism growth with hotel occupancy rising significantly from 35 per cent in July last year to 58 per cent in May this year. Hotel occupancy in Dubai peaked in December 2020 (69 per cent) and in January 2021 (66 per cent) with the city ranking second globally in terms of occupancy after Singapore and ahead of Paris and London, according to data from hotel management analytics firm STR.
Notably, the average daily rate (ADR) recovered from Dh238 in July last year to Dh383 in May 2021. Despite the disruption caused by Covid-19 across sectors, Dubai continues to represent a major opportunity for hotel developers. A total of 591 hotel establishments with 100,000 rooms were operating in July 2020 in full compliance with health and safety protocols. This has now increased to 715 hotel establishments offering 128,000 rooms in May 2021.
The concerted efforts of Dubai Tourism and partners to drive demand for domestic travel saw city hotels welcoming 5.5 million domestic visitors for the period between July 2020 and May 2021, compared to 2.66 million domestic hotel arrivals during the period July 2019 to May 2020, an astounding year-on year growth of 106 per cent.
Dubai hosted a total of 3,136 business events that were attended by 813,832 delegates, while new programmes like Retire in Dubai, Virtual Working Programme were also launched.
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