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Dubai to get 10,000 new hotel rooms this year in build-up for Expo 2020

Posted by Irish Manluctao on July 10, 2016
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Dubai had 82,760 rooms by the end of the first quarter, said the research company STR. Sarah Dea / The National

Dubai will get an additional 10,000 hotel rooms this year, as it progresses towards a target of 20 million tourists a year by 2020.

According to a report by consultants JLL, 621 rooms opened in the first quarter and another 9,400 are expected by the end of the year.

The long-term sustainability of any destination depends on sound business, tourism and transport and communications infrastructure, which Dubai has been building up for years, said John Podaras, a partner at the hospitality consultancy Hotel Development Resources in Dubai.

“The development of the theme parks is one such factor in creating a sustainable destination with varied attractions to sustain and extend tourist length of stay,” he said.

“The planning for the hotel rooms was made with a view to ramping up the required capacity for the Expo 2020 and that delivery has a momentum of its own that cannot be affected by short-term events.”

In an attempt to house an expected 20 million visitors in 2020, Dubai is encouraging new hotels. It aims to have more than 100,000 hotel rooms by then.

The emirate had 82,760 rooms by the end of the first quarter, said the research company STR.

But the supply of new rooms has surpassed demand and room rates are lower than last year. In May, the average occupancy in Dubai hotels was 84 per cent, down from 85 per cent last year, according to consultancy EY. The average room rate decreased to US$221, compared with $234 from the same period last year. Among the new properties opening this year are Westin Dubai Al Habtoor City, in August, with 1,004 rooms; and Nikki Beach Resort and Spa Dubai developed by Meraas, in October, with 132 rooms as well as 15 villas and 63 residences.

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