Dubai’s New Boom Is Hotel Rooms
This tiny emirate, renowned for building a ski slope in a shopping mall and man-made islands in the shape of a palm tree, is still recovering from a spectacular property-market collapse that scuttled many similarly extravagant projects.
Yet plans are underway for a luxury underwater hotel, at a cost of as much as $120 million.
But there is a reason for such newfound confidence: Tourists are flocking in huge numbers to Dubai, seen as an oasis of calm in a tumultuous region.
The city’s hotel developers and investors are benefiting because other traditional holiday locations in the Middle East—like Egypt, Tunisia and Bahrain—are battling, or recovering from, political and civil unrest. In addition, Dubai’s government continues to invest aggressively in its ambition to be a top global holiday destination.
New guest arrivals rose to 2.6 million in the first quarter, the latest figures available, up 9% from a year earlier, according to Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing. The number of nights that guests stayed surged 22% in the same period, resulting in a 24% jump in hotel revenues.