The number of guests checking into Dubai hotel establishments increased 5.6% to more than 11.6 million in 2014, despite declining tourism receipts from Russia, according to the latest figures released by Dubai’s Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing (DTCM).
In fact Dubai’s top 10 hotel guest source markets remained virtually the same compared to 2013, with a slight shift in positioning. Saudi Arabia remained the top source market for the emirate, followed by India, UK, USA, Iran, Oman, China, Kuwait, Russia and Germany respectively.
“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,” said DTCM director general His Excellency Helal Saeed Almarri. “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.
China is a strong source of tourism business moving forward, shifting its ranking from the 10th most important source market to the seventh in 2014.
Visitor numbers from this market surged 24.9% with 344,329 hotel guests compared to 275,675 in 2013.
India and the UK ranked the second and third biggest source markets with hotel guest numbers increasing 12.2% and 11.3% 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, said the DTCM.
Dubai’s hotels and hotel apartment establishments also recorded an increase in guest nights in 2014, increasing by 7.4% from 41.58 million in 2013 to 44.66 million in 2014. The average length of stay increased from 3.78 days to 3.84 days.
Revenues also grew significantly, up 9.8% from AED 21.8 billion in 2013 to AED 23.9 billion in 2014. Room revenues increased by 12% year-on-year and F&B by 6.1%. Almarri said the figures proved Dubai’s hospitality industry was in a “healthy state”.