Dubai reports record tourism figures

Dubai welcomed a record number of tourists in 2012, new statistics released this week (March 7th) have confirmed.The city's Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) has revealed that more than ten million holidaymakers spent some time in the emirate over the course of the year. This was a 9.3 per cent improvement on 2011.DTCM chiefs collated data relating to the number of hotel bookings made in Dubai and also assessed how many people had stopped off in the metropolis as part of a Gulf cruise.The figures showed that hoteliers had an exceptionally productive year, as revenues were up by 17.9 per cent year-on-year to AED 18.82 billion.A multitude of new hotels have opened in the past year, giving tourists far greater choice, but the demand for accommodation is so high that resorts have still been able to increase their prices.Indeed, the DTCM study indicated that average room rates climbed from AED 563 in 2011 to AED 588 in 2012 and leaders of the organisation believe this will be enough to encourage more developers to invest in Dubai hotels."The increasing average length of stay and the rising number of hotel apartments is evidence of a growing trend in people and families visiting Dubai for longer periods - historically the city was seen by some markets as a stopover destination but in recent years it has become the destination," commented Helal Almarri, director general of the DTCM.He added that Dubai benefits from being at the crossroads between east and west and that the city's infrastructure is top notch.Of course, the wonderful weather and plethora of upmarket shops and restaurants also make Dubai an incredibly attractive holiday destination.These tourism figures are hardly surprising given the number of people who have been passing through Dubai International Airport in the past year.Dubai Airports confirmed the facility handled more than 57 million passengers in 2012 and this figure is expected to rise to 66 million in 2013, as the emirate continues to prove popular with leisure and business travellers.

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