Hotels in Dubai welcomed 163,000 visitors from Oman during the first six months of 2014, a 12 per cent increase compared to the same period last year.
Guest numbers from Oman are also estimated to be high during the months of July and August, and even exceed last year’s count of 49,000 for the two months, according to officials.
“Oman is a very important tourism market for Dubai, with the number of hotel guests from the Sultanate increasing year on year. We expect an increase in the number of Dubai visitors to the UAE in July and August 2014,” Saeed Al Falasi, Strategic Alliances director, Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment, told Times Of Oman.
Oman made it into the top 10 list for Dubai’s source markets in 2013, sliding into the number eight spot between visitors from Germany and China.
The number of visitors from Oman reached almost 291,000 last year, a two per cent increase over 2012 numbers, Al Falasi explained.
The emirate’s close proximity to Oman, the array of experiences that it offers and increased marketing activities by the Dubai government have all led to visitor growth from Oman, according to experts.
The increase in hotel guests from Oman is welcome news considering recent data from STR Global, which found that Dubai’s hotels had the lowest occupancy rate in at least 18 years during July. Hotel occupancy declined 11.8 percentage points from 2013 to 45.4 per cent, the report said.
Elizabeth Winkle, managing director of STR Global, said in the report: “As July is one of the hottest months within the region and coincides with the fasting month of Ramadan, the city had an overall negative trend, on top of growing supply.”
Growing supply is also an issue for hotel managers in Dubai, as the emirate is expected to add over 14,000 hotel rooms by 2016. However, experts suggest that the city’s tourism and hospitality market will witness positive and stable growth, helped in particular by growing airline connections.