Dubai received 4.88 million visitors between January and October 2021, with international visits during October alone reaching more than one million as the emirate’s tourism sector charted a robust recovery from the pandemic.
The emirate sold 9.4 million room nights in the first 10 months of this year, up 34 per cent compared to the same period in 2019 owing to the higher number of domestic and international visitors, according to the latest statistics released by the Dubai government's media office on Saturday.
“Our multi-pronged strategy to combat the pandemic and deployment of wide-ranging initiatives to increase our global competitiveness and attractiveness is a hallmark of Dubai’s highly progressive public-private partnership model, which has been a cornerstone of not only what was achieved in 2021 but what will be achieved in the next critical 12 to 24-month period,” said Helal Almarri, director general of Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism.
Dubai was one of the first cities globally to re-open its markets and businesses in July 2020 and continues to stay open, while ensuring strict compliance with health and safety measures. The UAE also has one of the world’s highest per capita Covid-19 vaccination rates. The number of coronavirus cases in the UAE has also fallen below 100 in the past few weeks on the back of an accelerated vaccination programme.
The occupancy rate at Dubai hotels was at almost 64 per cent in the year-to-date October, while the length of stay jumped 12 per cent to 4.6 nights. During this period, there were 24.74 million occupied room nights across the emirate at an average daily rate of Dh384 ($104.56), in comparison to 15.66 million occupied room nights at an average daily rate of Dh335. Room inventory is now 6 per cent higher than 2019, according to the latest statistics.
“Over the last five decades Dubai has transformed into a global tourism and business hub and through the effective citywide management of the pandemic, the city has strengthened its position as one of the safest destinations in the world,” said Issam Kazim, chief executive of the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing.
“With our ... infrastructure, one of the highest vaccination rates in the world and flexible working visas, Dubai is becoming the preferred business hub for conglomerates and start-ups alike.”
Dubai's economy is forecast to expand 4 per cent in 2021, according to government projections released in December last year.
The seasonally adjusted IHS Markit Dubai Purchasing Managers' Index surged to 54.5 in October, from 51.5 in September, the highest level since October 2019. A reading above 50 indicates economic expansion while one below points to a contraction.
Dubai has also introduced a number of initiatives in the past year to attract investors. These include visas for retirees, digital nomads and property investors, as well as the expansion of the golden visa scheme.
Hotels in Dubai recorded a 16.8 per cent surge in occupancy in the first 10 months of the year, according to a separate study by CBRE.