Dubai rooms capacity to rise 24pc by 2004


With sustained investment into an extensive hotel development programme, Dubai is demonstrating its commitment to the growing demands and number of business and leisure visitors to the emirate. Room capacity is being substantially increased by 24 per cent over the next two years to meet the anticipated rise in visitor numbers.

In mid-2002 Dubai had 269 hotels (89 of which were 3-, 4- or 5-star properties) providing a total of 22,588 rooms and suites; plus 62 hotel apartment complexes with some 4,457 units. By 2004 Dubai will have 287 hotels providing 27,507 rooms and suites. The majority of these new developments will be located in Dubai city, therefore dramatically increasing capacity for tour operators' city breaks programmes. Recent developments in Dubai's city include the 5-star Fairmont Dubai (opened March 2002), which is located near the Dubai World Trade Centre and offers 394 rooms and suites. Also focussing on the conference and incentive market and due to open in early 2003 is the Grand Hyatt Dubai. With 674 rooms and 186 apartments, the Grand Hyatt will be one of the largest hotels in the region and will be situated near the Wafi Centre in Bur Dubai.

Other hotel openings scheduled for 2003 include a 5-star 320-room Taj hotel, which will be their second property in Dubai; a 200-room budget-priced Ibis hotel and a 400-room Novotel, both of which will be part of the Convention Centre development; a 240-room five star Shangri-La property plus an additional 240-room 4-star Shangri-La Trader's property, plus Oberoi's first property in the emirate which will cater for both leisure and corporate visitors.

BŠrbel Kirchner, director of the UK and Ireland office of the Government of Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) said that the rise in city accommodation capacity and the increased diversity of Dubai's entertainment and leisure product provided an opportunity for attractive city and short break programmes.

Current capacity at Dubai's 13 beachfront properties is 4,020 rooms, which has increased by 13 per cent this year.