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Tempting tourists to Dubai
Hotels in the emirate have started offering schemes to lure guests this summer.
June 4, 2009 8:30 by kippreport
The Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) is planning to tell hotels to reduce room rates by up to 50 percent during the upcoming Dubai Summer Surprises (DSS) shopping festival , Shaikha Ebrahim Al Mutawa, DTCM’s Director of Business, told Emirates Business. The authority hopes to curb the drop in tourist numbers in the city. Earlier this year during the Dubai Shopping Festival, hotels offered discounted room rates of up to 60 percent to attract more visitors.
But hotels are not waiting for DSS; many of them have already announced summer promotions to lure guests.
Shangri-La hotels in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Oman are offering guests a 50 percent discount on the published rates including breakfast. At the Renaissance Hotel in Dubai, you can get an adjoining or connecting deluxe room for your children for free by booking an executive suite for two adults. The package also includes one complimentary airport transfer and complimentary transportation service to some of the malls in Dubai.
Guests at The Address in Downtown Burj Dubai and The Palace hotels will get complimentary access to some of The Dubai Mall’s attractions such as the Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo and the Dubai Ice Rink, as well as some discounts in select stores.
The Jumeirah hotel group has launched a new global promotion allowing children under 15 to stay and eat for free at the group’s hotels in Dubai, London and New York. Guests in Dubai will also get free entry to the Wild Wadi water park.
According to data released by DTCM, the emirate’s tourism industry saw a combined revenue drop of 15 percent in the first quarter of this year. The number of guest nights at Dubai hotels fell 16.4 percent in the first three months to 3.87 million, and total hotel revenues fell 14.9 percent to $854.9 million (AED3.14 billion). Occupancy rates for hotels in Dubai fell to 73 percent in the first quarter of 2009, as compared to almost 90 percent last year.
However, the DTCM data showed that the total number of hotel guests, excluding hotel apartments, grew 3.7 percent to 1.62 million.
Executives at Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels say hotel rates have already posted a 30 percent drop in RevPar (revenue per available room) in the first quarter of 2009. They are estimating the rates to fall 35 percent this year.
“In any event it is going to be a very challenging summer for Dubai,” Max Cooper at Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels, told The National. “It’s not the best time of year to visit Dubai, but there are packages out there to entice people,” he said. “How successful that is hard to determine. We can only gauge by what’s happened thus far. Assuming that trend continues, there will be business coming in, but it just doesn’t come in at the same levels as it does when the weather is a bit cooler.”