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Saudis occupy 35% of all Dubai hotels

DUE Dubai Aerospace Ent. 747-8; 787-8;777-300; 737-700K64246Dubai is once again proving to be the choicest destination for Saudis this summer, with hotels in the city showing 35 percent occupancy by them during the Eid Al-Fitr holidays, Al-Riyadh daily reported.

The more than one-third occupancy of rooms by Saudis during the holidays complements the statistics revealed by Dubai tourism authorities that more than 2 million Saudis visited the city during the past six months, making the Saudis as the premier visitors to Dubai.

The fact that the numbers have swelled is partly because Dubai had prepared for a summer rush with some astute planning and marketing. This year’s “Summer is Dubai” campaign, that started on June 7 and will end on Sept. 7, offers three months of unprecedented fun, leisure and entertainment.

The Dubai tourism’s marketing wing, in its roadshows in GCC states, highlighted the three-month campaign across the city, encompassing Dubai summer surprises, Modhesh World, Ramadan in Dubai and Eid in Dubai. They together showcase Dubai as a summer destination of choice for families from the region that offers more value in terms of the scope of its events, world class infrastructure, hassle free entry into the country and easy transport facilities.

Dubai has been a favorite destination of tourists from the Kingdom, who formed the bulk of the more than 4 million visitors in 2011 with total spend being a whopping 8.8 billion dirhams.

Apart from Dubai’s tourism strategy, aided by initiatives such as easier procedures at its entry and exit points, the fact that Dubai is closer to home has helped Saudis prefer it to other tourist spots during Eid holidays.

Also it is a spot that’s most family-friendly.

Hotels pointed out that the influx of Saudis to Dubai during the Eid holidays is due to many factors, mostly because of the instability in many other regional countries that could have been alternative tourist spots during Eid Al-Fitr.

Mohammad Al-Turki, an investor in the tourism sector, believes that Dubai is an optimal choice for families.

“There is no doubt that Dubai is very well equipped in terms of infrastructure, tourism facilities, services and attractions that makes it the ideal family tourism destination,” he said.

“Many tour operators plan is advance with their counterparts in Dubai to sell packages that are unique and affordable. They block tickets and the number of nights in Dubai early in the season and sell the products to Saudis to make it affordable. Also the fact that Dubai has witnessed a huge growth in shopping malls and large hotels during the past three years has proved helpful.”

Mohammad Al-Shahrani, a Saudi tourist, said that he chose Dubai to spend the Eid holidays because it is close to the Kingdom and has the best recreational and shopping facilities for families and children alike.

Saad Ali, regional manager in a money exchange company in Dubai, said: “During Eid there is usually an increase in money exchange activity in the emirate. There’s a huge inflow and outflow of the Saudi riyal and the UAE dirham, and that his company prepares for this ahead of time.”-Saudi Gazette