Top Trends in Hospitality business in DubaiHaseeb
The Hospitality sector in Dubai is a significant contributor to the UAE’s economy and a major employer. According to Knight Frank Report ‘UAE hospitality market 2018’ it is estimated that hospitality sector contributed over Dh150 billion to UAE GDP (4.6% of GDP) and provided almost 570,000 jobs (4.8% of total employment) in 2017.
Dubai is now considered as one of the premier luxury destinations in the world, the city has carved itself a reputation for attracting wealthy tourists. Dubai International Airport, the world’s largest airport by international traffic, has seen passenger numbers increase from 57.68 million in 2012 to 88.24 million in 2017, a 53% increase. In the years ahead, more travellers are likely to visit Dubai who will not only be motivated by traditional hotel ratings but also by sustainable, personalized and culturally conscious experiences.
Let’s look at the top trends happening in the hospitality business in Dubai which according to us are driving the growth of the industry in Dubai.
1. Growth In Visitor Numbers Due To Ease In Visa Regulations
In order to achieve their respective targeted visitor numbers (Dubai 2020 Tourism Vision) UAE is eyeing new source markets and easing its visa requirements. The UAE now grant visas on arrival to Russian, Chinese and Indian citizens. The easing of entry restrictions in the UAE proved to be a success in 2017, with visitor numbers from these source markets up significantly. In Dubai, arrivals from India, China and Russia increased by 17%, 46% and 111% respectively, year-on-year.
Moreover the recent decision by the UAE Cabinet to exempt transit passengers from all entry fees for the first 48 hours will result in a boost of Dubai’s Tourism and hospitality sector. In 2017, 50 million transit passengers went through Dubai airports. Only 4 million left the airport and 46 million did not leave the airport. Tourists on transit visa now have the benefit to make most of the time as they can check out some of major attractions of Dubai that are closer to the airport, spend on gifts and may also prefer to spend their time in nearby hotel instead of airport.
Dubai already has a strong portfolio of hospitality and this directive will mean that a lot more travellers will choose to visit the city.
According to the annual MasterCard Destination Cities Index, Dubai outperformed all other cities in visitors’ spending in 2017, with tourists splurging $29.7 billion during their vacations. We can expect that the initiative will contribute to further increasing the amount of visitor spending in the coming years.
2. Significant Increase In Supply
Dubai is aware that in order to prepare for the upcoming Dubai Expo 2020, they must increase accommodation capacities. According to data from Dubai Corporation of Tourism & Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism), Dubai currently has 104 five star-hotels. 53 5-star hotels are in planning or construction with opening dates before Expo 2020. Overall, Dubai hotel room supply is projected to reach 132,000 by the end of 2019.
According to Helal Saeed Almarri- Director General Dubai Tourism, international and local investors are actively pursuing business setup in Dubai in hospitality sector. So it expected hospitality sector will experience strong, sustained growth over the coming years.
3. New Developments Directed Towards Lifestyle, Green And Midscale Offerings
In Dubai, four and five star hotels account for 57% of total available rooms. Hospitality market in this segment continues to mature from existing provision of luxury and branded hotels. So there remains an opportunity for further hotel development within UAE in the midscale segment in order to meet the demand of wider spectrum of visitors. Resultantly, more lifestyle and midscale segment properties are entering the market. Also there is new trend of innovative accommodation solution that provides community spaces which increases guest’s interactions in an informal and open plan meeting in lounge areas. Lastly, developers are also seeking to build environmental friendly buildings.
Also Read: How to Open a Restaurant in Dubai
4. Usage of Technology
Customer Relationship Management Software: Technology is a major tool that is used by hoteliers to improve guest’s experience. Powerful CRM software along with Smart TVs allows guests to use their media accounts on their room’s TV. Mobile check in and mobile keyless access is another trend going on which is done through mobile phone applications.
Point of Sales Software: Hotels are using POS software to ease their operations, have better data and be able to use it well. Billing software lets hotel track food sales at every outlet, including room service and also provides combined or separate reports of every sale and customer. This integration of technology is by far the most popular trend in Dubai hospitality sector in 2018.