Mustafa Abdel Azim (Dubai)
At a time when the global tourism industry is facing unprecedented challenges, since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, last year, which prompted the suspension of billions of dollars in investments, the hotel sector in Dubai continues to expand and attract more investments and global hotel brands,
Away from the effects and repercussions of the Covid-19 pandemic, the new expansions of hotels in the emirate are betting, during the short term, on hosting Expo 2020 Dubai, which will start in early October and will last for six months, in the recovery of hotel occupancy, which has always been the highest in the region for many years. Thanks to the emirate’s wide attractiveness on the global stage, and its reception of more than 16.7 million international tourists during 2019. In the long term, the prospects for the tourism and hotel sector appear more positive among investors and international players in the hotel industry, as everyone considers Expo 2020 Dubai a watershed for the beginning of a recovery cycle. New developments in the sector extending for many years, despite the uncertainty that still imposes itself on the global situation due to the effects of the pandemic, but they believe that Expo 2020 will pave the way for attracting new segments of tourists from all over the world after the participation of their countries in this event that is being held for the first time. in the region.
“St. Regis” sign
The first half of this year witnessed the opening of luxury international hotel brands in Dubai, despite the continuing difficult global conditions imposed by the “Covid-19” pandemic on the scene of the tourism and travel industry around the world, with confidence in the UAE’s ability to overcome these challenges. and restore the path of recovery.
And last May, St. Regis Hotels and Resorts, one of the most prominent luxury brands in a program that includes 30 distinctive brands, announced the opening of The St. Regis Dubai, The Palm in the Palm Tower in the heart of Palm Jumeirah Island, joining this global dynamic group, carrying with it all This prestigious brand brings great service, innovative designs and luxurious experiences to the famous island and to the international city of Dubai.
Sandeep Walia, Regional Vice President, Marriott International, UAE, said: “With its stunning skyline, stunning desert landscape, contemporary architecture, thriving culture and diverse entertainment offering, Dubai is one of the most popular destinations for leisure travelers from all over the world.” . He stressed, “The St. Regis Dubai, The Palm is an important addition to our global portfolio and offers a 100-year legacy of unique hospitality and service to meet all the needs of guests at the iconic Palm Jumeirah in Dubai.”
Omar Khouri, CEO of Hospitality Ventures and Asset Management at Nakheel, said: “The opening of The St. Regis Dubai, The Palm increases world-class hospitality offerings, strengthening the list of attractive tourist destinations on the island, which has become one of the world’s leading destinations for living and entertainment. and tourism.” The hotel includes 264 luxurious rooms and 26 elegant suites that provide all the luxurious amenities, all of which enjoy a stunning view of the Palm Jumeirah amid the Arabian Gulf waters, and the charming skyline of Dubai through its windows extending from ceilings to floors.
Marriott Bonvoy, Marriott International’s portfolio, also announced the expansion of Aloft and Element by Westin hotels in the UAE, with the opening of Aloft Al Mina Dubai, Element Al Mina Dubai.
The confidence of the world’s industry leaders
During the past period, many international hotel groups expressed confidence in Dubai’s efforts to resume the recovery of the tourism and hospitality industry in the emirate, and affirmed their optimism about future prospects with the organization of Expo 2020 and the long-term growth that will follow.
Jochem Jan Sliver, Hilton’s regional president for the Middle East, Africa and Turkey, said: “We are currently witnessing a promising gradual return to travel activities, and thanks to the efforts of the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, Dubai has been at the forefront of the recovery movement since the return of tourism almost a year ago, and we at Hilton are witnessing the return of our regular guests and others to the Our hotels, whether through domestic tourism, welcoming visitors from abroad from regular destinations or opening up new markets, the Hilton Group team looks forward to welcoming Expo guests from all over the world. In turn, Mark Willis, CEO of the Accor Group, said: “Dubai is one of our most important and strongest markets in the region, and it was very reassuring, as part of the hospitality sector, to see how the recovery plans were managed and implemented at the city level, pointing out that the presence of such a trend. Clear and forward-thinking plans ensure that we are able to plan our resources to support the reopening of the city in the best possible way through our global campaigns to promote Dubai’s message to the world “Dubai opens its arms”. Sandeep Walia, chief operating officer, Middle East, Marriott International, said: “The reopening of the city to international tourism last July brought great opportunities for the hotel industry, and we are confident that when travel corridors are in place, and destinations are seen as safe, people desire In travel, Dubai remains one of the safest and most in-demand destinations in the world. David Todd, COO, Middle East and Africa, InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, said: “Dubai has built a strong perception of safe travel internationally, with continued adherence to health and safety guidelines across the travel and tourism sector, emphasizing that Dubai remains one of the most attractive and easy-to-use markets. Accessible from anywhere in the world, and with expectations of the Dubai Expo 2020 increasing, we anticipate a gradual increase in occupancy and a stronger recovery during 2022.
Dubai… the destination for luxury hotels
Looking to the future, the report showed a positive picture of the continued efforts to enhance Dubai’s reputation as one of the world’s best destinations for luxury hotels, with the number of five-star guest rooms increasing from about 44,000 rooms to 48.2 thousand by 2023, representing a compound annual growth rate of 3.1%. Five-star hotels account for 44.6% of the total hotel capacity expected to enter the Dubai hotel market, which will amount to about 9,465 rooms by 2023.
Tourist and hotel licenses
The semi-annual report of the Dubai Economy showed a remarkable recovery in many vital activities and sectors in Dubai, where 1,153 new licenses were issued within the group of restaurants and cafes, with a growth of 92%, compared to the same period last year. The new licenses in the tourism sector during the first half of this year included the issuance of 342 licenses, which included 20 new hotels in Dubai, with a growth of 147%, in addition to many tourism activities such as organizing internal and external tourist trips, and it is expected that growth in this sector will continue with the increase in tourists to Dubai as a global destination and the organization of the Expo
Last April, the international group, Accor, opened the SLS Dubai Hotel, in Downtown Dubai, as part of the expansion of the international SLS hotel and apartments brand in the Middle East, adding the hotel to 946 rooms, hotel apartments and residential units to the hospitality portfolio in Dubai. It includes 254 hotel rooms, 371 residential units and 321 hotel apartments. Accor also announced the opening of the Adagio Premium The Palm, the second Adagio Premium hotel in the world. The building includes 163 spacious apartments spread over 12 floors, including 94 studios and 69 one-bedroom apartments.
The brand “NH Hotels” announced its first hotel in the Middle East, in Dubai, pointing to the opening of the “NH Dubai The Palm” hotel, which is currently in the final stages of development, will take place in December 2021, and includes 533 rooms and hotel apartments, where The building consists of 14 floors, containing 227 hotel rooms and suites, in addition to 306 hotel apartments. She explained that “NH Dubai The Palm”, which is located on “Palm Jumeirah”, is a luxury international tourist landmark, and it will be part of the luxury “Seven” Hotel and Hotel Apartments on “Palm Jumeirah”, which in turn is a mixed-use project, consisting of a hospitality tower and a tower. residential. “The launch of the first (NH) hotel in Dubai is ideal for the brand, as the hotel will complement the existing portfolio of Minor Hotels operating within the city, along with Anantara,” said Dilip Rajacari, CEO of Minor Hotels. And “Oaks” and “Avani”.
9465 new rooms until 2023
According to the annual report issued by the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing in Dubai (Dubai Tourism), the hotel market in the emirate is expected to increase from 126,947 rooms in 2020, to 136,412 rooms in 2023, or about 9,465 new rooms.
The report stated that the emirate’s tourism sector showed remarkable resilience during 2020, despite the global challenges posed by the “Covid-19” pandemic in one of the most testing years so far for the global travel industry, stressing that Dubai continued to consolidate its position as one of the travel destinations for the purpose of travel. Entertainment, the most famous work in the world.
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