Strong development urged to cater to rise in visitor numbers
The strong and ongoing commitment to Dubai’s hotel development programme from the private and public sector will ensure that anticipated visitor numbers are catered for well into the future.
In mid 2003 Dubai had 268 hotels providing a total of 25,564 rooms and suites; as well as 99 hotel apartments with some 7,431 units.
By the end of 2004 Dubai will have at least five additional hotels and resorts providing some 1,250 additional rooms and suites.
Some recent five-star developments in the hotel sector include Shangri-La Dubai (opened July 2003) offering 301 rooms and suites. Grand Hyatt Dubai (opened March 2003) is focusing on the conference and incentive market, with 674 rooms and 186 apartments.
Jumeirah International also extended its product offering with the September 2003 opening of the five star Mina A’ Salam. Located at the beachfront, this hotel has 292 rooms and suites and is the first phase of the Madinat Jumeirah development. Other openings in 2003 included a 210-room Ibis hotel and a 412-room Novotel hotel which are conveniently part of the Dubai International Exhibition and Convention Centre complex.
Meanwhile this year, the beachfront Le Méridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina has undergone an expansion programme. And Le Méridien Dubai’s refurbishment has led to an increase in its room inventory to 383, an additional three new restaurants and an enlarged ballroom’s to seat up to 1,500. Al Maha Desert Resort is also expanding to feature 10 new suites, a communications centre, a spa, as well as a gym and a wider choice of dining areas.
Capacity at Dubai’s 13 beachfront properties is now 3,632 rooms and suites. In 2004, other beach accommodation will increase with the opening of Al Qasr — the second phase of Madinat Jumeirah — with 340 rooms and suites. This enlarged capacity in beachfront accommodation will further assist tour operators’ in meeting their requirements for the growth of their leisure programmes.
The Grosvenor House West Marine Beach Resort by Le Meridien with 218 rooms, will be the first property to open at the new Dubai Marina development which will form a ‘city within a city’ once it is completed in 2005.
A luxury 240 room hotel overlooking the Marina at the Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club will open in Autumn 2005, in addition to the development and expansion of the existing golf course.