DUBAI, 18 December – Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism (DET) has announced the launch of the annual Dubai Tourism Summit, a first-of-its-kind travel forum in the region. The announcement follows data which showed that Dubai welcomed 11.4 million international overnight visitors between January and October.
The summit will lay the foundation for a home-grown world-class thought leadership programme to boost the city’s resurgent tourism industry and support regional and global tourism, said a Wam news agency report.
The DET announced the forum at its bi-annual ‘City Briefing’ event held during the Skift Global Forum East, the first MENA extension of the Skift Global Forum.
The Dubai Tourism Summit will provide a networking platform for industry stakeholders to share their vision, ideas, strategies and best practices, as well as insights on leveraging the latest innovations and trends to create a more resilient, inclusive and sustainable future for global tourism.
The DET also shared the latest tourism report for the first 10 months of 2022. Data showed that Dubai welcomed 11.4 million international overnight visitors between January and October, an impressive year-on-year increase of 134 per cent, taking the city further on its journey to becoming the world’s most visited destination.
The DET’s ‘City Briefing’ was presided over by Helal Saeed Al Marri, Director-General of DET, and attended by more than 1,000 executives from across the tourism ecosystem, including aviation, travel, hospitality and retail sectors. The meeting provided an update and outlook on the industry. It explored ways to continue accelerating the momentum to reinforce Dubai’s position as a global hub for business, investment, talent and tourism.
Al Marri said: “We are grateful to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, for his visionary leadership, inspiration and guidance that has led to several milestones in 2022. Dubai has always been an international icon of innovation and excellence. The Dubai Tourism Summit will see us working even more closely with our domestic and global stakeholders and partners as we focus on pushing the boundaries further to highlight Dubai’s position as the top international destination and the best city in the world to live in, work and invest. With the Dubai Tourism Summit, we will elevate our blueprint for sustainable growth, contributing towards our industry’s continued success and supporting the recovery of regional and global tourism.”
Al Marri added: “Our performance in the first ten months of 2022 indicates that we are on target to achieving our tourism goals, which dovetail with the UAE Tourism Strategy 2031 announced by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to attract AED100 billion as additional tourism investments and 40 million hotel guests by 2031. It is also a testament to our city’s resilience, robust and diversified market strategy, solid collaboration model between the government and private sectors, and the strength of the city’s diverse destination proposition. We are well-placed to end this year on a resounding note and perform even better in 2023 and beyond, steadfastly supported by our aviation, travel and hospitality partners, who continue to champion Dubai’s position as the first-choice destination for global travellers.”
The 11.4 million international overnight visitors who arrived in Dubai between January and October 2022 represented a quantum leap over the 4.88 million visitors that the city welcomed for the same period in 2021. The numbers are close to the pre-pandemic record of 13.50 million international visitors in the first ten months of 2019. Dubai’s international tourism arrivals significantly outperformed other major global destinations, giving Dubai a head start on post-pandemic recovery.
Hospitality sector shines
Participants were also briefed on the hospitality sector’s outstanding success, as it played a significant part in Dubai’s impressive rebound. Dubai’s growing popularity among global travellers is evident in the fact that there were 54 million online searches for Dubai per month during Q3 2022, which was close to pre-pandemic levels, with bookings in the last few months surpassing pre-pandemic levels.
Average hotel occupancy in Dubai between January-October 2022 stood at 71%, one of the highest hotel occupancies in the world. This compares to 64% in the corresponding period of last year and just short of the 74% during the pre-pandemic period of 2019. Dubai’s occupancy continues to closely trail the top benchmark cities: Istanbul (75%), New York (74%), Paris (73%), London (73%) and Los Angeles (72%).
Hotels register strong growth
Dubai’s hotel inventory in October 2022 comprised 144,737 rooms at 790 hotel establishments compared with 122,185 rooms available at the end of October 2019 across 724 establishments. The total number of hotels in the first ten months of 2022 saw an 8 percent growth over the same period in 2021, highlighting strong investor confidence in Dubai’s tourism sector.
The hotel sector outperformed pre-pandemic levels across all other key measurements: Occupied Room Nights, Average Daily Rate (ADR) and Revenue Per Available Room (RevPAR). Despite the significant 18% increase in supply compared with pre-pandemic levels, Dubai hotels achieved strong growth across ADR and REVPAR over 2019 levels. Dubai hotel establishments delivered a combined 30.40 million occupied room nights during the first ten months of the year, a 23% YTD growth and a 17% increase over the corresponding pre-pandemic period of 2019, which yielded 26.01 million occupied room nights.
The ADR of AED506 in the first ten months of 2022 surpassed the ADRs for the first 10 months of 2021 (AED384) and 2019 (AED400), with a 32% increase in ADR in YTD October 2022 vs YTD October 2021 and a 27% increase vs YTD October 2019. The stellar performance of the hotel sector is also demonstrated in RevPAR growth: a 48% increase in RevPAR in YTD October 2022 vs YTD October 2021 (AED362 vs AED245) and 23% vs pre-pandemic YTD. — TradeArabia