Dubai: Dubai’s tourism and hospitality sectors are seeing a “rapid rebound” after the July 7 reopening.
“Since then, we have been greatly encouraged by the market’s response in the second phase of our recovery strategy, which was activated along with the gradual resumption of economic sectors, as well as the staggered and tentative restart of travel across the world,” said Helal Saeed Almarri, Director-General of Dubai Tourism.
Bookings by Emirates Airline and flydubai are also on the upswing, with the former now confirming 70 destinations, while flydubai will cover 66 destinations over summer.
“People are much more optimistic and well-informed now and are ready to go on holidays to destinations that are safe and have put in place strong health and safety protocols,” said Al Almarri.
A definite change
Whatever has emerged since July represents quite a mood change during the peak of the COVID-19 crisis, when sentiments were “circumspect”. The tourism industry bore the brunt of restrictions on domestic and cross-border mobility.
The pandemic could cost global tourism and related sectors between $1.2 billion and $3.3 trillion in lost revenues “depending on the timing of recovery”.
For Dubai, during the “pause phase”, according to Al Marri, the focus was on “planning and repositioning”.
“We re-thought business strategies and plans working with stakeholders and partners to develop innovative initiatives to manage the new normal,” he added. “In co-operation with key authorities, we mapped out stringent health protocols and precautionary measures that would reassure even the most demanding safety-conscious tourists.”
We expect to see good progress in the last quarter of 2020 based on growth strategies we have adopted to accelerate momentum ahead of the full reopening
The effective management of the pandemic by city authorities resulting in dwindling infection numbers and rising recovery rates. This in turn “enabled the city to reopen itself to tourists on July 7”.
“The UAE and Dubai were decisive, strategic and methodical in tackling the pandemic,” the tourism chief added. “We also remain optimistic due to the pivotal role being played by our key partners like Emirates and flydubai in facilitating tourism growth through a wide range of measures designed to instill confidence among travellers and encourage them to make the city their destination of choice.
“As we continuously assess the current situation and take steps to consolidate the industry revival that is underway, we expect to see good progress in the last quarter of 2020 based on strong growth strategies that we have adopted to accelerate momentum ahead of the full reopening of the sector.”
Beach properties registered occupancy rates of above 80 per cent over the weekend. Hotels continue to offer staycation deals, ranging from discounts on room rates and F&B to family entertainment offerings.
As part of stimulating the broader domestic market, industry partners are working in tandem to encourage residents to experience other offerings such as malls, attractions and entertainment centres.