The total number of tourists booking into hotels in Dubai grew by nine per cent from 1999 to 2004, from 3.02 million to 5.42 million, according to Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM).
Though the figures increased in 2007 to 6.44m, they were still below the industry expectations due to a fall in tourist traffic from Europe.
A spokesman for DTCM said the number of tourists from Europe went up by 32 per cent between 1999 and 2004, from 860,341 to 1,713,802. In 2006, more than two million tourists from Europe visited Dubai.
Tourist arrivals from Switzerland and Germany also grew, but travel agents felt the pinch of slowing traffic due to an increase in the euro’s value. The growth of tourist traffic was more than 30 per cent from countries such as Spain and Italy.
From January to September 2007, the number of new guests in hotels and hotel apartments in Dubai went up by seven per cent over corresponding figures in 2006, and hotel revenues went up by 20.3 per cent in the same period, from Dh7.23 billion to Dh8.71bn due to an increase in the average tariff of rooms.
The occupancy ratio went up by 4.1 per cent, from 83.5 per cent to 87.6 per cent.
The official spokesman said there is a shortage of hotel rooms in Dubai because of the huge demand, especially during the festival seasons and shopping events.“The number of hotels and hotel apartments went up from 378 in 1999 to 439 in 2007 and they are projected to reach 495 by 2016. The number of rooms is also set to reach 86,002 by that year.”
Tourist arrivals on the rise in Dubai