Published on : Monday, June 1, 2015
Already one of the world’s top holiday destinations and reported by Euromonitor International as Saudi Arabia’s most travelled to destination in 2014, the UAE’s most populous city is currently gearing up for the Dubai World Expo with the Government’s Tourism Vision forecasting 20 million visitors a year by the time of the event in 2020.
“With mega-events Dubai World Expo 2020 and 2022 Fifa World Cup in Qatar and a host of major-developments including Al Habtoor City, Bluewaters Island, and Dubailand launching in coming years, we hoteliers are preparing for the significant increase in tourists,” said Wajeed Bagwan, General Manager of the newly launched SUBA Hotel in Dubai. “With over 3,000 new keys entering the Dubai market in 2015 alone, SUBA Hotels intend to have an edge over competition with an increased offering and a focus on our unique selling point as Dubai’s first 4* boutique SMART hotel with advanced technology facilities. We launched in Dubai in 2014 and are planning to open three new SUBA Hotels in the Middle East and Africa by 2017.”
One of the world’s leading hotel groups, Starwood Hotels and Resorts, is planning to double its portfolio in the Middle East in the next five years including the launch of its first world-popular W Hotel and St. Regis brands in Dubai by the end of 2015. Alongside a new Westin, the three hotels will be located in the new Al Habtoor City complex, described by developers the Al Habtoor Group as the ‘world’s biggest residential and hospital development currently under construction’.
Dubai-based global luxury hotel company, Jumeirah Group, has two properties scheduled to open in Dubai by 2017 including the Jumeirah Al Naseem at Madinat Jumeirah and the first hotel under its lifestyle brand, Venu, opening off the coast of Dubai at the new Bluewaters Island. The Venu Bluewaters Island Hotel will offer close to 300 rooms surrounded by the retail, residential and hospitality zones of the mixed-use Island with the world’s largest Ferris wheel, the Dubai-I, at its heart.
Various existing hotels are going through major redevelopments and refurbishments to remain competitive. Ramesh Bappoo, General Manager Novotel and ibis Deira City Centre and Delegate Hotels & Integrated Support Services of 2 Novotel and 3 Ibis totaling 1,217 rooms in Dubai said: “Majid Al Futtaim, Owning Company of Novotel City Centre Deira, Ibis City Centre Deira and Suite Novotel Mall of Emirates, has allocated over AED 3.3 million as capital investment to support our Green initiatives. Novotel City Centre Deira – 4 Star Category, Suite Novotel Mall of Emirates – 3 Star Category and Ibis City Centre Deira – 2 Star Category has each bagged the prestigious Dubai Green Tourism Award 2014 in its category as the best green hotels in Dubai.”
He continued: “This highly competitive award acknowledges Accor’s accomplishments in demonstrating effective, environmentally sensitive operations and management by educating guests and employees about sustainable tourism practices, supporting cultural and natural heritage preservation, and collaborating with other private and public stakeholders to promote best practices in sustainable green tourism.”
The leading award ceremony for the hotel industry in the region, The Middle East Hotel Awards, is seeing the impact of this increased activity with a record number of entries for 2015 and the addition of categories including Best Hotel Refurbishment. Hotels competing for first place in this new category for 2015 are Manzil Downtown Dubai, Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh, Pullman Dubai Deira City Centre Hotel and Residences, and Sheraton Dubai Creek Hotel and Towers. Winners will be announced at a ceremony with over 400 hoteliers at the Waldorf Astoria Dubai, Palm Jumeirah on 4th June 2015.