Mon 10 Aug 2020 03:22 PM

Dubai’s hospitality sector shows signs of recovery from Covid restrictions

Jumeirah CEO reveals strong interest from international tourists, particularly Europeans and Russians

Hotels across Dubai reopened for residents and citizens in May after a period of enforced closure, while the city threw open its doors to the world on July 7.

Dubai’s hospitality industry is experiencing a strong rebound after the restrictions to curb the spread of coronavirus, with staycations underpinning the solid recovery, coupled with the return of international tourists to the emirate.

Hotels across Dubai reopened for residents and citizens in May after a period of enforced closure, while the city threw open its doors to the world on July 7.

“Since then, we have been greatly encouraged by the market’s response in the current 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.

Dubai-based Jumeirah revealed that, in the first week following the reopening to international tourists, online bookings for planned stays on its website doubled from the previous week, while its properties registered an average daily increase of 109 percent in booked room nights.

“We have received considerable interest from international markets, particularly Europe and Russia,” said Jose Silva, CEO of Jumeirah.

Staycations

In terms of the domestic market, Dubai saw strong pick up in numbers with hotels creating offerings to meet pent-up demand for staycations and beach properties registering occupancy rates of above 80 percent over weekends.

“The domestic market has proven extremely important and we are seeing increased demand at Jumeirah properties, particularly over the weekends. Dedicated staycation offers are helping to drive ongoing interest together with the introduction of new dining concepts to enhance the experience,” said Silva.

Bookings received by Emirates Airline and Flydubai are also showing positive signs for the tourism sector. Emirates will be operating to a total of 70 destinations across six continents in August, while Flydubai is set to expand its network to 66 destinations over the summer.

According to the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), the Covid-19 pandemic could cost global tourism and related sectors between $1.2 trillion and $3.3tr in lost revenue depending on the timing of recovery.

‘Dubai Assured’

However, the UAE has been praised for the decisive action taken and the safety measures installed at the airports and across the various hotels.

Over 1,000 establishments have received the ‘Dubai Assured’ stamp from Dubai Tourism, while the emirate has been recognised by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), which gave the city a ‘Safe Travels’ stamp in recognition of the stringent  measures taken to combat Covid-19.

“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,” said Almarri.

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