Seen on TravelMole.com, November 27, 2006
continues to be at the forefront of hotel innovation leading
overwhelming consumer demand and a consistent rise in occupancy
figures. To lead this demand, in 2006 seven new four and five-star
properties have been created and plans for further diversification of
Dubai’s accommodation continues as the popularity of the emirate for
both business and leisure travel grows. Dubai is particularly expanding
its product in the luxury apartments category which will appeal to new
In tandem with the growth of visitors, the number and diversity of Dubai’s hotels has increased from 191 in 1994, to 302 hotels and 108 hotel apartments offering 38,608 rooms or units by the first quarter of 2006. The total number of hotel rooms and apartments scheduled between 2010-2016 is over 86,600, compared with 41,500 by the end of 2006.
Figures from 2005 (6.1 million international visitors) clearly support the drive for new accommodation with hotel rooms averaging a busy 84.6 per cent occupancy level (up from 81 per cent in 2004). This year, demand has remained steady with high average occupancy rates of 86.3 per cent to the end of June – maintaining solid room rates which, in turn, keep up the high service levels that visitors have come to expect in Dubai.
“As anticipated, Dubai is in the fortunate position of having seen a very strong increase in visitor arrivals over the last ten years. For four years the UK has emerged as Dubai's top market, with strong growth - 13 per cent – in 2005 when over 680,000 British guests arrived in the emirate,” said Baerbel Kirchner, director of the UK and Ireland representative office of the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM).
“This sustained increase in visitor numbers has enabled some of th e world’s best hotel operators to add to their existing properties in Dubai and open a new range of luxury self-catering apartments and boutique hotels; in addition to city centre and beach resorts to satisfy future demand. Taking advantage of the increased number of rooms available we are expecting to continue to see growth in year round long and short breaks to Dubai.”
Some 190 UK and Irish tour operators recognise the current and future opportunities of maintaining or expanding their product portfolio to Dubai in line with the rapid growth and diversification of the emirate’s tourism and leisure attractions and hotel infrastructure.
Properties welcoming visitors for the first time since WTM 2005 include the 246 rooms and suites of the Radisson SAS Hotel, Dubai Media City; Kempinski Mall of the Emirates, at the Mall of the Emirates shopping mall, with 395 deluxe rooms and 24 suites including 15 ski chalets overlooking the indoor ski slope of Ski Dubai; a nd Oasis Beach Tower - the 180 all-apartment property from Jebel Ali International.
Still to open in 2006 are BurJuman Rotana Suites at the exclusive BurJuman Shopping Mall with a total of 144 units (December); and two new properties (December) managed by Southern Sun at the Burj Dubai “Old Town” project – Al Manzil – with 197 rooms, and Qamardeen providing a further 186 rooms and suites.
In terms of current renovations to existing properties, The Jumeirah Beach Club Resort & Spa will reopen at the end of 2007 with an increased number of suites. And from 1 October 2006 Radisson SAS Hotels & Resorts will take over the management of the InterContinental Hotel Dubai – which was the first five star hotel in the emirate. “We are honoured to be taking on this property and we are planning to embark on a major renovation programme to recapture the grandeur of the hotel,” said Kurt Ritter, president and CEO, Rezidor SAS Hospitality.
Among confirmed luxury properties scheduled over the next few years, some highlights for 2007 include:
• Five star city properties from Conrad Hotel by Hilton on Sheikh Zayed Road with 350 rooms; Four Seasons Dubai Festival City offering 300 rooms; the 800 room Moevenpick Dubai Pearl Hotel; Banyan Tree Dubai on Sheikh Zayed Road with its 150 rooms; the 369 rooms of Moevenpick Ibn Battuta Hotel; and Raffles Dubai’s 240 rooms at Wafi City shopping mall.
• Five star beach properties will include Sofitel Jumeirah Beach Residence’s 450 rooms and the 300 room Moevenpick Resort Jumeirah Beach.
• Bavaria Executive Suites with 2,100 suites at Dubai Media City in March 2007.
• Emirates Hotels & Resorts is developing a portfolio of properties including Emirates Marina Serviced Apartments & Spa in March, and Emirates Green Lakes Serviced Apartments by mid-2007.
• Three properties from InterContinental Hotels Group will open at Dubai Festival City: InterContinental Dubai Festival City with over 500 rooms and 120 suites; Inter-Continental Residence Suites Dubai Festival City with 215 high-rise apartments, and Crowne Plaza Dubai Festival City with 316 rooms and suites. Chris Maloney, chief operating officer, InterContinental Hotels Group, Middle East and Africa said: “This development will not only help meet the phenomenal growth of the tourist industry in Dubai but also contribute towards our global strategy of a net organic growth of 60,000 rooms by 2008.”
• Four properties from Rotana Hotels & Resorts: Amwaj Rotana Resort at Jumeirah Beach; Media Rotana Hotel, at Dubai Media City with 467 rooms and suites; Rose Rotana Suites; and the company’s newly introduced brand, Centro by Rotana, Diyafa with 360 rooms. Selim El Zyr, president and CEO of Rotana Hotels, said: “Whilst we achieved record results in 2005, our focus on development is an ongoing process. This will enable us to maintain our competitive edge in a challenging environment.”
Looking fur ther into the future, in 2008 hotel openings of interest include:
• Atlantis, The Palm, with over 1,500 rooms, opens in November. “Atlantis brings a brand that has captured imaginations of young and old. Situated at the centre of the Crescent on The Palm, Jumeirah, Atlantis will be one of the most dominant features on the island,” said Alan Leibman, president & managing director, Kerzner International.
• The Fairmont Palm Hotel & Resort and the Fairmont Palm Residences are scheduled to open on The Palm, Jumeirah. The complex will comprise a 300-room luxury resort with 460 vacation ownership residences.
• Jumeirah Group, in a strategic alliance with the developers Nakheel, will operate and manage the Jumeirah Shoreline Hotel & Yacht Club with 200 quays and 200 residences on The Palm, Jumeirah. Gerald Lawless, chief executive officer Jumeirah Group, said: “We are delighted to be entrusted by Nakheel with the management of such high profile and prestigious projects and are proud to be a part of the history that Nakheel is creating with iconic developments such as The Palm, Jumeirah.”
• The Palazzo Versace Dubai will offer 215 suites and 204 villas in the Arabian Bays on Dubai Creek. “Palazzo Versace will provide the ultimate destination for those wanting a taste of the ‘Versace’ lifestyle within a dynamic and modern environment like Dubai,” said president of the Versace Group, Dr Santo Versace.
• Ritz-Carlton’s 330 rooms will open at Dubai International Financial Centre. “Dubai is a vibrant and exciting city, poised on the brink of becoming one of the world’s foremost leisure and business destinations, and we feel privileged to play a part in this development,” said Simon F. Cooper, president and chief operating officer of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company.
• Other five star properties will be from Armani, Habtoor, Kempinski, Mercure, Moevenpick and Taj. Rezidor SAS will operate two properties on The Palm, Jumeirah; and Rota na Hotels & Resorts’ second Centro property – Centro Barsha – will open.
From 2009 and beyond, Dubai’s new property highlights will include:
• The 31 hotels providing 29,200 rooms at the Bawadi project in Dubailand will open in five phases in line with anticipated tourism growth. Five luxury hotels will open in 2010, and a further six in 2011, seven in 2012, 7 in 2013 and the final 6 hotels in 2014
• In 2010, Regent Hotels will open The Regent Dubai Canal Point with approximately 250 guestrooms, 255 serviced apartments and 105 residential apartments.
• Emirates Park Towers Hotel & Spa (in 2010) from Emirates Hotels & Resorts.
• Jumeirah Group, in conjunction with Nakheel, will operate and manage Trump International Hotel & Tower on The Palm, Jumeirah (in 2010).
• Jumeirah will also open Jumeirah Al Khor in Dubai Healthcare City, Jumeirah Business Bay and a hotel on The World development.