Increase in Dubai Tourism
As the end to another hot summer day in Dubai approaches, the purple skyline is all that is left of the piercing desert sun, setting behind Dubai’s most famous skyscraper, Burj Khalifa. Soaring temperatures and humidity have done little to deter tourists, keen to catch a glimpse of the world’s tallest tower. But Burj Khalifa is not the sole recipient of this attention…
Shopping centers, restaurants and hotels are experiencing higher numbers of tourists and visitors than they were this time last year. This is an unexpected upsurge for the hot summer months, with temperatures reaching up to 50 degrees centigrade in some parts of the Gulf.
“The regional factor is the main factor, and some other comparative destinations like, what is happening in Greece, in Egypt, big destinations, that touristic traffic has diverted to Dubai,” says hospitality consultant Turab Salem, on the unexpected increase in tourism.
The benefit of the tourist influx goes beyond the economic boost to retail and hospitality, Emirates airlines has created holiday packages to attract residents of neighboring Gulf countries, who may have a limited choice of destinations this year because of unrest in several areas of the Middle East, said the airline’s Vice President for the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, Ahmed Khoury:
“It’s true that the influx from the Gulf area was strong; people from the Gulf who were used to going to Egypt, Syria, Amman and other countries for their holidays. We were able – in collaboration with our offices abroad – to offer holiday packages that allowed us to win over a large percentage of the GCC residents who preferred to come to Dubai over other destinations”.
He continued: “Ramadan to be honest, right now in the books, for five star hotels, are having 35, 40, 45 percent occupancy. In the last few seasons you don’t see this happening because most of Ramadan business is last minute, so if you have 35-40 plus percent in the books, that is a good start,” said Salem.
Although it is traditional for most regional tourists to go home for Ramadan, forecast figures and hotel bookings show of a more profitable Ramadan, compared to previous seasons.