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Dubai hopes to see return of Russians

|By TAP Staff| Strong signs of recovery in Dubai’s tourism and hospitality sector are already visible and there are strong bookings from the Russian travel agents and tourists, Marc Bennett, Senior Vice President for International Operations at Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing, said.

Russian tourists, who dominated the Dubai tourism industry landscape over the years, had stopped coming in view of the challenging’ economic times triggered by the Rouble devaluation.

The decline in Russian tourist numbers began late last year (last two quarters of 2014) and continued with about a 40 per cent drop in the first half of 2015, he remarked, adding that the average holiday stay of Russian tourists in Dubai remains 10 days.

According to Bennett, they will be back in good numbers in the coming months and in the due course the recovery will surpass the previous year’s performance.

Stating that Dubai in the world’s fourth most-visited destination, he said about 16 million tourists are expected in Dubai in 2016. By 2020, the hotel beds inventory will reach 150,000, up from the present 92000. Dubai intends to double the tourist visitation by 2020 from the 2010 position.

David Loiseau, Vice President for Sales at Atlantis The Palm, said the key destination for Russian tourists recorded a 50 per cent drop in room nights following the negative Russian economic situation, but the situation has been encouragingly improving with 10 to 15 per cent increase in bookings now compared with the last year which had tough conditions. Repeat visitation, he said, has remained strong, giving indications of a big surge in hotel bookings in the coming months.