Tourism, like all the other sectors, plummeted in the last year. The lockdown and travel restrictions dropped business and leisure travel rates terribly. Yet Dubai managed to get through the rough times in the tourism industry growing at a high pace.
The data published by Dubai Tourism surprises the world with a huge tourist footfall from July 2020 to May 2021 with more than 3.7 million tourists as the markets reopened. The strong outcome from the tourism sector reinforced the country as being the leader in the global tourism sector. Even though the challenges still loom, the emirate gathered pace to rebound. The Crown Prince and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, said the country is resilient in gaining momentum, emphasizing the strength of the sector and its diverse markets.
The CIS countries, the emerging markets, have shown growth potential, making them part of the source markets since the country reopened for global tourism.
The country’s robust precautionary protocols to control the virus spread made it one of the safest places to travel. The government plans for Expo2020 with exceptional safety levels, setting a global benchmark for visitors.
The country developed recovery strategies for tourism by closely working with the stakeholders to build seamless and poised hospitality. The pandemic propelled the pent-up demand for a staycation by residents and ex-pats.
The tourists came from more than 200 nationalities, which drove the hotel occupancy from 35 percent in July 2020 to 58 percent in May 2021. The country ranked second in hotel occupancy by registering peak occupancy of 69 percent in December 2020 and 66 percent in January 2021. The average daily rate (ADR) recovered from AED238 in July 2020 to AED383 in May 2021, showing significant growth even as other sectors continued to battle with the COVID-19 challenges.
The country extends tourists great pleasure with its outstanding hospitality by offering 715 hotel establishments operating and offering nearly 128,000 rooms in May 2021. The government put efforts to improve the domestic travel experience with more than 5.5 million visitors in the city hotels in the past 11 months, marking a year-on-year growth of 106 percent.
Major initiatives like the highest standard of safety precautions, state-of-the-art testing and vaccination programs, and a zero-tolerance approach to non-compliance have contributed to the global tourism recovery.
In the forecast period 2021 to 2026, it is estimated that the global travel and tourism market will surpass the $8.9 trillion mark.