Dubai is aiming to attract 25 million tourists and become the world’s most popular tourism destination by 2020, as part of its long-term growth strategy.
“The ambitious target is anchored on attracting 25 million tourists in the next five years,” said Issam Kazim, CEO of Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DCTCM), who noted that the target is achievable despite lingering fears over plummeting oil prices and a strong dollar, according to Trade Arabia News Service.
“Dubai will be looking at different types of tourists in the period leading up to and beyond 2020. There will be more cultural and business tourists, and as such the city will need to offer more mid-range hotels,” he said.
Speaking at the Destination Dubai 2020 conference that took place at The Address Dubai Marina hotel on January 27, Kazim explained that the government had started to incentivize investors who were looking to develop three and four-star hotels.
“We currently have 51 applications for mid-level hotels. This is an important component that will help the emirate achieve this target,” said Kazim.
He also confirmed that there are 20,000 room keys in the pipeline that will be completed in 2016.
The expected influx of tourists will also require increased capacity at Dubai’s airports. Majid Al Mualla, DSVP Commercial Operations GCC, Iran, Central Asia, Emirates, noted that the number of tourists travelling to Dubai had tripled in the past decade.
“The airline is on track to meet its 70 million passenger target by 2020, and can be seamlessly handled by Dubai’s network of airports, which by 2020 will have a capacity of handling well over 110 million passengers,” he said.