We expect Dubai's tourism sector to continue seeing double digit growth rates as ongoing political instability across the MENA region has greatly benefited destinations that are considered 'safe havens' for both leisure travellers and investors. In addition, the nomination of Dubai to host the World Expo 2020, should provide a significant boost to tourist arrivals over the coming decade. Latest figures from Dubai's international airport show 5.6mn passengers movements in October 2013, an increase of 15.1% y-o-y. Hotel occupancy rates have remained robust, averaging 86.1% in Dubai for the first eight months of 2013, compared with 82.6% in the same period last year.
As well as the Expo, Dubai's tourist numbers will be helped by the US$680mn expansion of the Madinat Jumeirah tourism zone into the Burj Al Arab area. In addition, Dubai Ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid has granted approval of the development of five new theme parks at Jebel Ali in Dubai. The development will involve total investment of AED10bn (US$2.72bn) and comprise shops and restaurants. Finally, Sheikh Mohammed announced plans for Mohammed Bin Rashid City that is designed to have the world's biggest shopping centre and 100 hotels. All of these developments should ensure that growth in the tourism sector does not dissipate and becomes a key driver of the country's non-oil economy.
|Rapid Growth To Continue|
|Dubai - Tourist Arrivals|