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Tourism is rocking, says everybody
The UAE’s tourist industry is flying, according to those in the know. Kipp wishes it had opened a fancy hotel; one a bit like the Saray, in fact.
December 28, 2010 3:57 by Samuel Potter
Kipp’s decision to turn its back on the hospitality industry in high school is coming back to haunt us. Figures from industry bods are confirming that the tourism industry in the UAE is flying, making our decision not to pursue a hotel management course (on the grounds we don’t like the general public) a major error.
“Abu Dhabi tourists lead Middle East surge” was the headline in the National this week, accompanied by a picture of some kids surfing (see what they did there? Surge? Water? Sur… ah, nevermind). The article says that a giant 27 percent jump in visitor numbers in Abu Dhabi for November is leading an upturn across the country. Hotel visitors in Dubai notched a healthy, happy 6 percent gain for first nine months of the year compared to last year. Thanks to that jump, revenues for Dubai hotels are also up 6 percent, to AED9.2 billion.
Ah yes, you say, but that doesn’t allow for the fact that there are now more hotels than there were last year, so things could actually be worse per hotel. Well, you are right – the number of hotels in Dubai is now 565, compared with 533 in the same period last year. That’s a growth of, surprise surprise, 6 percent (they really like that number). But things aren’t too bad – according to the National a report from Deloitte said hotel occupancy in Dubai for the first 10 months of the year increased 2.9 percent.
We could bore you with more stats that point to healthy upturns (such as the increase in passenger traffic at Dubai International, which grew by 15.6 percent in the first 11 months of the year compared to 2009), but the main thing is, numbers are up. It’s good news for the industry, and it’s even encouraging a few dormant projects.
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