With the tenth edition of Dubai Summer Surprises (DSS) in full swing offering attractive sales and shopping discounts and top-notch entertainment facilities to boot, Dubai is being increasingly seen as a destination of choice for travellers from around the world. Supporting Dubai government’s initiative to make Dubai a year-round tourist destination is the hospitality industry that offers several incentives to attract visitors to enjoy the leisure facilities in the emirate.
With Dubai’s rising popularity on the tourism graph, the hospitality industry in the emirate is reaping rich dividends and Dubai hotels are busy throughout the year owing to the influx of inbound tourists. Catering to a wide spectrum of visitors, Dubai hotels have been receiving a good turnout of leisure as well as business travellers since the beginning of this year and the trend continues even in summer, boosted further by the holiday season and the DSS.
In a report published by the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), the total revenues of Dubai hotels and hotel apartments crossed the AED 11 billion mark in 2006. In fact, the year 2007 began on a very positive note for hotels and hotel apartments in Dubai that posted record breaking figures for the first quarter of the year. Dubai scored a world record when its hotel establishments recorded the highest occupancy and revenues in the month of January 2007, leaving behind Hong Kong, Sydney, Tokyo and London in occupancy levels.
Upbeat about their current performance and the season’s forecast for the month ahead, hotels are recording high occupancy rates. Says Abdul Siraj Cheringal, Revenue Manager, Coral Deira, Dubai, “Our occupancy this summer has been 5 per cent more than expected, particularly on half board basis. This is mainly due to the exciting summer promotion at our hotel. We have seen a marked improvement in the occupancy levels, an increase of almost 13 per cent in business when compared to figures during the same period last year."
“We got a brilliant response from not just the GCC but other markets too this summer. The Iran region was a strong contributor with almost 6 per cent of our clientele coming from the country. In addition, we noticed a good turnout from South Africa and UK. Business from the sub-continent picked up as well. All in all we have had a beautiful summer with average occupancy levels varying between 75 and 85 per cent.”
Majed Al Aridi, Dubai Marine Beach Resort & Spas, Director of sales & marketing commented, “Owing to Dubai's continued success in providing excellent service and facilities, the emirate has witnessed an impressive increase in visitor numbers. Approximately, 30 to 35 per cent increase has been seen from the mid of May till date in the number of arrivals as compared to last year’s figures, especially guest numbers from the GCC and the UK have been on the rise."
“During summer, we usually offer competitive and attractive special summer package rates to our international guests. And as we all know the Dubai Summer Surprises or DSS is the most famous and the biggest incentive that is being provided for families. As such guests from all over the world have the chance to receive a rewarding and yet memorable experience to be with their families, friends and loved ones,” he said.
The Radisson SAS Hotel, Dubai Deira Creek, also confirmed that they have witnessed an increase in occupancy since the start of summer mainly due to leisure travellers and families who come to visit Dubai for the Dubai Summer Surprises.
Andreas Flückiger, General Manager of Radisson SAS, Deira, says, “We are noticing an increase of 2.5 per cent in occupancy compared to same time last year during the summer. The majority of our guests during the summer are from the GCC, however, we do have a good crowd mix of European, Asian and Middle-Eastern guests.”
Shazad Zia, Revenue Manager of Moevenpick Hotel, Bur Dubai, adds, "The occupancy increase was very much positive though it was a last minute pick up. We started the summer with 20 per cent occupancy on the books and closed the month of June at 82 per cent. The high occupancy followed for the month of July."
“Our 'family package' offering two interconnecting rooms for AED 999 is very popular among our guests during summer months especially as it is at a very competitive rate – a fantastic deal for families.” Shazad concluded by saying that the GCC and South Asian visitors formed the majority of the hotel guests with a good number of European visitors also checking in to the hotel.
© 2007 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com )