Dubai’s hotel establishments welcome more than 11.6m guests in 2014

Dubai’s hotel establishments welcome more than 11.6m guests in 2014

-        Figures show a 5.6 per cent year-on-year increase in hotel establishment guests

-        Hotel and hotel apartment room revenues rise 12 per cent to
AED 15.2 billion

Dubai, UAE; 03 March 2015: Dubai’s hotel establishments welcomed 11,629,578 guests in 2014, registering a 5.6% increase on 2013’s total. Figures released today by Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) show steady year-on-year growth and significant increases across key indicators including hotel establishment revenues and guest nights. The figures for 2014 indicate that Dubai is continuing to maintain growth at a sustainable level, while also growing its portfolio of hotels and hotel apartment establishments, thus taking another step closer to achieving its Tourism Vision for 2020, which aims to welcome 20 million visitors a year by 2020. 

Top source markets for hotel guests
Dubai’s top ten hotel guest source markets in 2014 remained almost entirely unchanged from 2013, with only slight shifts in positioning. For January to December 2014, Saudi Arabia was once again the top source market, followed by India, UK, USA, Iran, Oman, China, Kuwait, Russia and Germany.

China moved from tenth position to seventh, experiencing 24.9% growth in the last 12 months with 344,329 hotel guests compared to 275,675 in 2013. This surge can be attributed to the growth in the number of Chinese travellers, who are increasingly looking to travel outside of China, and the combined efforts of DTCM and its partners within Dubai’s aviation and hospitality sectors to position Dubai as a destination of choice for such travellers. India (ranked 2nd) and the UK (ranked 3rd) also showed significant increases in the number of hotel guests, rising 12.2 per cent and 11.3 per cent respectively. The March 2014 UAE federal ruling that exempted citizens of 13 European member states from requiring a pre-entry visa to the UAE – joining the other 15 European member states for which the exemption already applied – contributed to increases in hotel guest numbers from European countries.

His Excellency Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General of DTCM, commented: “The 2014 figures demonstrate healthy year-on-year growth for hotel establishment guest numbers with significant increases from Asia, Africa and Western Europe. The strong growth in hotel guests from China is hugely positive and reflects our targeted work in this market. For example, in April 2014 tourism industry partners from across the emirate collaborated closely to host the largest ever delegate group from China with the NuSkin conference bringing more than 14,500 Chinese visitors to Dubai over a three week period. Such events, as well as our hosting of the largest ever tourism industry FAM trip from India in December 2014 and steps taken to leverage the exemption of pre-entry visas for all European Union member states, are crucial to further strengthen ties with key markets and ensure that Dubai is positioned as a destination of choice for both new travellers and repeat visitors.”

HE Almarri continued: “The 5.6% increase in the number of hotel guests occurred despite the decrease in the number of Russian visitors - a result of the current geopolitical situation and the decrease in the value of the Ruble. Due to the long-held strategy and collaborative commitment between DTCM and our partners to diversify our inbound markets, Dubai’s tourism industry is insulated from any short-term fluctuations within any one market, and in 2015 we will continue to work with our partners to increase market share from newer markets. Driven both by China’s share of global outbound travel and rising wealth and changing consumer habits in emerging markets, the global travel industry is poised for a period of sustained growth over the next decade: Dubai is well positioned to leverage these factors to drive growth of our tourism economy.”

Hotel occupancy and revenues
Dubai’s hotels and hotel apartment establishments recorded an increase in guest nights in 2014, increasing by 7.4% from 41.58m in 2013 to 44.66 million in 2014. The average length of stay increased from 3.78 days to 3.84 days.

Revenues for hoteliers and hotel apartment operators saw significant growth, with total revenues reaching AED 23.9 billion for 2014, up 9.8 per cent from AED 21.8 billion in 2013. Room revenues increased by 12 per cent year-on-year and F&B and other revenues increased by 6.1 per cent year-on-year.

His Excellency Helal Saeed Almarri commented: “Growth in revenue is notable, considering the 9.2 per cent increase in available rooms in Dubai during this period. At the start of 2014, the emirate’s portfolio consisted of 84,534 rooms across 611 properties; by the end of the year this had increased to 92,333 rooms across 657 properties. The figures indicate that our hospitality industry is in a healthy state and, most importantly, that the growth is sustainable, which is crucial when it comes to meeting our Vision for 2020 targets.”

In addition to the increase in rooms demanded by the forecasted rise in visitor numbers, the Vision for 2020 targets also underlined the need to broaden and further diversify Dubai’s range of accommodation offering. In the last year, new additions include a number of properties across all star ratings including Sofitel Dubai Sheikh Zayed Road, Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach, DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel and Residences Dubai, Hyatt Place Dubai Al Rigga, Pullman Jumeirah Lakes Towers and the Sheraton Grand Dubai.

The above 2014 hotel establishment guest figures have been released ahead of the ITB 2015 travel trade show taking place from 4-8 March in Berlin, where DTCM and a delegation of partners from the emirate’s tourism industry will promote Dubai’s diverse destination offering to key international buyers.


Hotel testimonials

Philippe Zuber, Chief Operating Officer of Emaar Hospitality Group
“The robust growth of Dubai’s tourism and hospitality sector, underlined by the Dubai Tourism Vision 2020 announced by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, contributed to the sterling success of Emaar Hospitality Group in 2014. While our flagship hotel brand, The Address Hotels + Resorts, recorded average occupancy of over 85 per cent, we also further leveraged the positive growth environment to expand our hospitality offering. In addition to launching Manzil Downtown Dubai, which integrates the region’s cultural ethos with the convenience and comfort of modernity to offer distinctive value, under our Vida Hotels and Resorts portfolio, we also launched Rove Hotels, a modern, cosmopolitan, smart and cultural hotel brand that reflects the essence of Dubai’s identity. As one of Dubai’s compelling success stories in the hospitality business, we will continue to innovate on our hospitality and leisure offerings to support the city’s tourism growth by offering properties and experiences across all visitor touch-points.”

Mr. Gerald Lawless, President and Group CEO of Jumeirah Group
“Jumeirah hotels in Dubai have had another successful year and achieved an occupancy of 80%. United Kingdom, GCC and Germany continue to be the leading source markets. Despite the geopolitical turmoil in Russia and Ukraine, we still maintain a healthy share of business from those countries and work closely with our partners there. With 22 hotels in 11 destinations and a further 18 in the development pipeline, Jumeirah continues its ambitious international expansion. The construction of Madinat Jumeirah Phase IV is well underway with a view to opening in 2016. The first Venu hotel, part of Jumeirah’s new lifestyle brand, is under development as well and will debut in Dubai with the inauguration of Bluewaters Island, a Meeras project. We very much appreciate the ongoing support from DTCM which enables us to achieve such excellent results.”

Mark Willis, Area Vice President for the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa, The Rezidor Hotel Group
“As Dubai continues to develop its tourism sector—be it with added routes and capacity to its airports, or new offerings in hospitality—it is clear that this city is already well on its way to achieving its goal of attracting 20 million visitors within the next five years. With this huge influx of tourists, we expect that this city will host visitors from all demographics leading to the growth of the midscale segment for city hotels. Because of these trends, the Rezidor Hotel Group, and its core brands: the Radisson Blu and Park Inn by Radisson, are well-placed to cater to this new world- traveller and we look forward to playing a role in this city’s journey towards Expo2020 and beyond.”

Guido De Wilde, Senior Vice President, Regional Director Middle East, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.
“2014 was an extremely busy and successful year for Starwood Hotels & Resorts in Dubai. Globally we opened 74 new hotels in 2014, representing approximately 15,000 rooms in 26 countries, our balanced growth approach continued in 2014 with consistent, organic signings across all nine of our brands. Continuing to strengthen our presence in Dubai specifically we opened The Sheraton Grand Hotel on Sheikh Zayed Road - our 15th property in the emirate. Dubai remains the company’s second largest hotel market behind only New York City, which has 21 hotels and we anticipate another year of solid growth in both mature and emerging markets in 2015, fuelled by hotel openings and high-quality deal signings. 2015 is very exciting for Starwood in Dubai.  By the end of the year, we will open our first St. Regis and W hotel in the city.  We also signed our first Aloft and Element hotels in Dubai.  By 2018, Dubai will be home to all nine of Starwood’s brands.”

David Thomson, Chief Operating Office, JA Resorts:
JA Resorts & Hotels enjoyed another year of excellent occupancy levels which averaged above 80% across our Dubai properties in both the hotel and deluxe hotel apartment sectors. While along with all Dubai’s hotels, we saw a reduction in guests from the Russia we opened representative offices in both China and India and for the first time saw significant numbers staying with us from these key markets in 2014 as well a strong numbers from our more traditional markets of the UK and German speaking Europe. Encouragingly we also saw substantial growth from Australia and the Scandinavian countries as we took maximum advantage to the continues expansion of the Emirates network.

Mr. Rob Weeden, Vice President Sales & Marketing – EMEA, India and Indian Ocean, Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts

“Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts enjoyed a healthy and robust year in 2014 with average occupancy in Dubai over 80% across our Shangri-La and Traders brands. We currently own and/or manage nearly 90 hotels worldwide with a room inventory of 37,000. We continue to expand internationally with sixnew hotel openings last year and a further 11 openings planned for 2015, including Qatar, Sri Lanka, Mauritius and a second property in India. We are enthusiastic to expand our brand presence in the GCC and are grateful to DTCM for the support it extends to us.”

Serge Zaalof, President and Managing Director of Atlantis, The Palm

‘Dubai’s hotel sector is the fastest growing outside of China and coupled with the United Arab Emirates’ successful bid to host the 2020 World Expo, the region’s growth and reputation is set to keep soaring with no sign of slowing down. We’ve seen the occupancy at Atlantis, The Palm reach 87%, on average in 2014, with healthy growth from UK, China, India, Australia, and thanks to our strategic initiatives and unique offering, occupancy has remained stable despite the developments in the Russian market.

The success of Atlantis, The Palm has continued to exceed our financial performance expectations year on year and the time is right to usher in the next phase of this iconic development - The Royal Atlantis Resort and Residences. Located on the crescent of The Palm and next to the iconic Atlantis resort, this new generation of distinctive luxury will offer a sophisticated lifestyle experience, edgier than any resort in the region, with infinite ocean views, accented with lush green spaces, encapsulated in dramatic architecture, which will continue to drive the growth of Dubai forward. As we continue to focus on our global growth strategy with the new property in Sanya China, we are thrilled to be making such a significant impact in Dubai, and to be building off the success of the Atlantis brand, which has been so well-received from guests from all over the world.”

Mr. Christophe Landais, Chief Operating Officer of Accor HotelServices Middle East

“The increase in guests numbers witnessed in Dubai last year comes as no surprise to us, as the emirate, particularly since the announcement of Dubai Tourism Vision 2020, consistently continues to innovate and commit to major projects.

Accor hotels also saw in 2014 strong occupancy figures for our 16 hotels (5.100 rooms) in Dubai with an average of 84%, 2 points of occupancy more than 2013, and a RevPar increase of 16% Year on Year. Accor has signed a record 21 hotel management contracts in 2014 bringing an additional 5,254 rooms across the Middle East. Four of those new hotels will be located in Dubai with Ibis on the economy segment, and Adagio on the extended stay segment bringing an additional 1,336 rooms to be opened by 2017. Although the current 9.2% growth new supply of rooms available in Dubai creates an unbalanced ratio with the current 5.6% growth in demand, the emirate is showing no signs of slowing down its ambitions and we are excited and committed to meeting the opportunities this creates”.

Rudi Jagersbacher, president, Middle East & Africa, Hilton Worldwide

“As the world’s largest and fastest growing hospitality company, operating in 94 countries and territories, Hilton Worldwide’s presence in Dubai puts us at the forefront of one of the most vibrant and evolving entertainment destinations globally. With our growing portfolio of seven properties across four brands in the Emirate, complemented by the debut of three mid-market Hilton Garden Inn hotels by 2016, we are very positive about the future of Dubai’s tourism sector and our role in its rapid development.”

Alex Kyriakidis, President of Marriott International, Middle East and Africa

“The figures from DTCM clearly reflect the healthy state of the hospitality industry in Dubai and the sustainable growth it is achieving year-on-year. In line with Dubai’s 2014 hotel guest growth rate, Marriott International’s Dubai properties have also enjoyed strong growth of guest numbers, both from the region as well as internationally.  2014 saw the opening of two properties in Dubai, the Marriott Hotel Al Jaddaf and Marriott Executive Apartments Al Jaddaf, and this year the launch of our first Autograph Collection brand, the Habtoor Grand Resort & Spa. Marriott International sees huge growth potential for Dubai and the Middle East region – where that growth comes from depends on geography, market segment, funding and operating models. Our aim is to make sure we provide the right hotels, in the right location, to meet the demands of both the business and leisure traveler. With the strong support of government departments such as Dubai Tourism, we look forward to working with various stakeholders across the emirate to achieve its Tourism Vision for 2020.”


About Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM)
With the ultimate vision of positioning Dubai as the world’s leading tourism destination and commercial hub, Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing’s (DTCM) mission is to increase the awareness of Dubai to global audiences and to attract tourists and inward investment into the Emirate.

DTCM is the principal authority for the planning, supervision, development and marketing of Dubai’s tourism sector. It markets and promotes the Emirate’s commerce sector, and is responsible for the licensing and classification of all tourism services, including hotels, tour operators and travel agents. Brands and departments within the DTCM portfolio include Dubai Convention and Events Bureau, Dubai Calendar, and Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (formerly known as Dubai Events and Promotions Establishment). In addition to its headquarters in Dubai, DTCM operates 20 offices worldwide.

For DTCM media enquiries please contact:
ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller
Dubai, UAE
Tel: +971-4-4507600

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