Dubai’s hotel establishments received more than 11.6 million visitors in 2014, up 5.6 per cent from the number of guests they hosted in 2013.
The figures were revealed by Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM).
Dubai’s top source markets for tourists in 2014 largely remained unchanged from 2013, with Saudi Arabia topping the list.
India, UK, USA, Iran, Oman, China, Kuwait, Russia and Germany were the other top source markets for tourists coming to Dubai.
The number of Chinese tourists to Dubai also saw a steep growth of 24.9 per cent last year, DTCM noted.
Meanwhile, a UAE federal ruling in 2014 that exempted citizens from 13 European countries from the requirements of a pre-entry visa has also helped drive tourism over the last year.
“The 5.6 per cent increase in the number of hotel guests occurred despite the decrease in the number of Russian visitors – a result of the current geopolitical situation and the decrease in the value of the rouble,” said Helal Saeed Almarri, director general of DTCM.
“Due to the long-held strategy and collaborative commitment between DTCM and our partners to diversify our inbound markets, Dubai’s tourism industry is insulated from any short-term fluctuations within any one market, and in 2015 we will continue to work with our partners to increase market share from newer markets.”
In line with the growth of visitors, revenues of hotels and hotel establishments also rose 9.8 per cent last year to reach Dhs23.9 billion, DTCM noted.
Room revenues rose 12 per cent to reach Dhs15.2 billion while revenues from F&B outlets rose 6.1 per cent year-on-year.
The steady growth in the number of visitors to Dubai has also made the market attractive to hotel operators.
“At the start of 2014, the emirate’s portfolio consisted of 84,534 rooms across 611 properties; by the end of the year this had increased to 92,333 rooms across 657 properties,” said Almarri.
Last year, Dubai also saw a number of hotel openings including Sofitel Dubai Sheikh Zayed Road, Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach, DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel and Residences Dubai, Hyatt Place Dubai Al Rigga, Pullman Jumeirah Lakes Towers and the Sheraton Grand Dubai.
The number of hotel openings had previously stoked fears of an oversupply in the market and a subsequent fall in revenues for operators.
However, Almarri dispelled any fears of an oversupply of hotels in the emirate saying that Dubai’s hospitality industry is in a “healthy state”.