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Dubai’s ascent on the tourism ladder
15 million tourists are expected to visit the city in 2015.
July 28, 2013 4:01 by Haifa Badi Uz Zaman
Central to Dubai’s global image as a popular tourist destination are its vibrant leisure, hospitality and business sectors.
Based on the vision and initiatives of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the emirate has become one of the top global tourist destinations, with an expected number of 15 million tourists by 2015. The leisure market continues to be the leading sector, with business demands consistently on the rise.
The city is also the preferred venue for international and regional events, such as, Arab Health, World Economic Forum and the Dubai Airshow.
The hotel industry has witnessed a positive growth cycle and reported an occupancy rate of 80 per cent in 2012. Hotels in Dubai also recorded a 10.3 per cent increase in revenues. STR Global, an international hospitality consultant, anticipates a double-digit growth in Dubai’s hotel sector in 2013, with a 28.6 per cent growth in hotel room capacity. Due to the massive influx of global tourists, the firm predicts the hotel occupancy rates to grow till 2016.
Dubai serves as an intersection for tourists from around the world, which is integral to the city’s economic growth.
Bahaa Fatairy, director of Business Development and PR services of Genesis Consulting ME says, “The travel and tourism industry has established itself as a key important pillar for the economic growth within the UAE and Dubai, in particular. It is the magnet to attract leisure, business and shopping visitors and is the ideal link between the West and East.”
Additionally, the rise of medical tourism has enhanced Dubai’s progressive vision as a diverse tourist location with multiple attractions. According to a research done by Business Monitor International, Dubai’s health tourism industry is experiencing a 15 per cent annual increase. Fatairy provided insight into the growing sector by stating that initiatives, such as, the Dubai Healthcare City, taken by the government has helped increase awareness about the city’s world class medical services.