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Egypt may be going through its darkest days, but on the plus side – that means more tourists for Dubai!

February 9, 2011 4:20 by

Dubai is so used to being in the centre of the limelight that it can’t help but make everything about itself – even when it isn’t. Take, for instance, the recent uprising in Egypt. How, you may ask, could Dubai ever turn this unprecedented historical revolution-in-the-making into a story about itself?

Tourism, comes back the cool reply from the local press.

A flip through the papers this past week reveals that Dubai’s tourist industry is positively benefitting from the all that political turmoil, and the media loves it. The National blatantly proclaims:”Egypt’s loss is Dubai’s tourism gain,” Emirates 24|7 says “Mideast political turmoil to benefit Dubai tourism” and Arabian Business says “Dubai to see upswing in tourist traffic over Egypt woe.”

Apparently hotel occupancy levels in the emirate are 20 percent higher now than this time last year, which the experts say boils down to the political instability in the region.

“We have received so many requests from the European markets to operate charter flights. They are considering diverting routes into our destination. European tour operators are stopping sales on so many areas of Egypt, so they need to transfer all their tourists who are already booked into other destinations,” Samir Hamadeh, the director of sales and marketing at Alpha Tours Dubai, told The National.

But it is not just unrest in Egypt (which is the largest tourism market in the Middle East, did you know?), but also the political instability in Lebanon, Tunisia and other parts of North Africa that is causing a rechanneling of tourists’ attentions, or so Emirates 24|7 tells us.

In fact, some experts barely seem able to stifle their excitement at the possibilities the future may hold. One such specialist, John Alexander, director and general manager of PKF, a consultancy for the hotel and property sectors, told Arabian Business “Dubai is certainly a credible alternative destination to tourism markets elsewhere affected by monumental change (…) We’ll be watching with interest and some trepidation, but [also] great expectation as current events unfold.”

So at Kipp we join the chorus and say: Strength to you people of Egypt, continue your struggle! Power to Tunisia, continue to go through that significant social upheaval! And to Lebanon, keep up the political chaos! Thanks to your selflessness, Atlantis occupancy rate may rise 1 percent. We in Dubai salute you.

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