Dubai skyline
As Dubai gears up to receive more supply of hotel rooms, there is enough demand to meet this and more. Image Credit: WAM

Dubai: Current demand for hotel rooms in Dubai is running far ahead of upcoming supply, according to a top tourism industry official.

This presents an opportunity for increased investment to develop additional attractions and hotel accommodations, said Issam Kazim, CEO of Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DCTCM) on the opening day of Arabian Travel Market

Dubai is seeing immense growth in hotel occupancy numbers and Average Daily Rates (ADR) – a hospitality benchmark used to measure room rates. Plus, the city is having high occupancy for its holiday homes too.

“Which means that the demand for Dubai is again outstripping the supply,” Kazim added. “This means that for us, there is always an opportunity from an investment perspective to create more attractions and more hotel rooms.”

All of this incentivizes Dubai to increase its investments in the hospitality sector, said Kazim, without going into details. Dubai closed 2023 with record tourism numbers, attracting 17.15 million international visitors, a 19 per cent year-on-year increase, surpassing the previous 2019 record of 16.73 million.

Stock - Issam Kazim
“This means that for us, there is always an opportunity from an investment perspective to create more attractions and more hotel rooms,” says Issam Kazim of DCTCM.

Diversified approach

Kazim also said Dubai’s diversified approach to tourism is ‘paying off’. “For us, the opportunities exist from a point-to-point perspective where we've seen great growth, but we are also constantly leveraging the role that Dubai plays in connecting the rest of the world through the Dubai International Airport (DXB),” said Kazim.

There is also an opportunity to tap into transit visitors.

“This is a chance to get people in through the doors for the first time and create repeat visitors,” he explained.

About 25 per cent of the visitors who come to Dubai are repeat visitors. “I mean, they come back again and again within a period of 12 months. That is again a number that solidifies our position regarding the quality of service and things that people look forward to regarding the repeat visitation.”

He said the new passenger terminal planned for Al Maktoum International, also known as Dubai World Central (DWC), is expected to boost visitor numbers and investments. “This airport aims to attract visitors to Dubai and facilitate business travel and logistics,” the CEO said. “These developments align well with our strategy to attract more visitors, new residents, and businesses to Dubai.”