PEACE, SECURITY & FREEDOM-SECRETES OF UAE SUCCESS IN TOURISM
Mar 12 - 18, 2012
The progress, prosperity and even beauty of a city or country is closely related to its rulers having characteristic qualities to ensure peace, security and a sense of freedom through good governance which is the key to socioeconomic and political stability of a country .
The growth and development taking place in UAE is the glaring example of fulfillment of this criterion where the government has succeeded to develop the world-class infrastructure which is a source of socioeconomic strength in that part of the world.
The trickledown effect of economic growth in UAE is quite noticeable on Pakistan's economy. Pakistan has a reasonable share in food, vegetable, fruits, and rice exports to UAE catering to the growing tourist industry in UAE.
The eye-catching opportunities have helped pull crowd of visitors and investors from every corner of the world making UAE in general and Dubai and Abu Dhabi in particular financial hub in the region. It will be interesting to note that number of tourists from Pakistan, despite economic recession, was not less than 2.5 lakh last year. Apart from growing number of visitors from Pakistan, a large number of Pakistani workers staying in UAE are remitting significant amount of foreign exchange every month.
The current figures of home remittances from UAE revealed that inflow of remittances during July-February 2012 from Saudi Arabia, UAE, GCC countries (including Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Oman) and EU countries amounted to $2,325.98 million, $1,903.89 million, $1,525.45 million, $991.20 million, $968.91 million and $244.91 million respectively as compared with the inflow of $1,563.00 million, $1,627.09 million, $1,298.26 million, $770.91 million, $820.02 million and $220.24 million respectively in July-February 2011.
The monthly average remittances for July-February 2012 period comes out to $1,074.10 million as compared to $870.41 million during the corresponding period of the last fiscal year, registering an increase of 23.4 percent. Last month, an amount of $1,156.81 million was sent home by overseas Pakistanis, up 36.86 percent, when compared with $845.28 million received in the same month of February 2011. Almost all of this growth in remittances during February 2012 was through banking channels.
The breakdown of last month's remittances from Saudi Arabia, UAE, GCC countries and EU countries amounted to $317.51 million, $259.55 million, $197.14 million, $137.73 million, $123.50 million, and $29.27 million respectively as compared with the inflow of $209.6 million, $190.04 million, $152.55 million, $101.21 million, $98.55 million and $24.58 million respectively in February 2011.
Besides tremendous economic growth in the emirates of Dubai and Abdu Dhabi, the tourism industry has become a major contributor to UAEís economy reflected in a 20 per cent jump in revenues to Dh16 billion last year due to a number of factors including Arab Spring and the addition of new properties.
According to latest figures, total number of Emirate's hotels estimated 575 and serviced apartments catered to 9.30 million tourists last year, a growth of 10 per cent over the 8.49 million in 2010. The Arab Spring has however helped tourists to come to Dubai as the guest nights rose 23 per cent to 32.84 million in 2011. Hotels contributed 23.26 million guest nights.
Apart from attraction of Arab Spring, the long-term reputation of Dubai was of another factor behind growth in tourism earnings.
The ever-increasing number of visitors to Dubai also resulted in increased room rates as hotel occupancy rose 74 per cent, said a latest report by the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), the tourism regulatory body. Hotel apartments experienced an increase of over two million guests, with these properties contributing 9.5 million guest nights last year against 7.5 million in 2010.
The introduction of new tourism products and hotels also helped attract visitors. Burj Khalifa and hotels in that neighborhood where a large number of new hotels coming on line this year will increase supplies and normalize room rates.
One of the key reasons for growth is the expansion of aviation industry especially Emirates Airlines, which is the biggest supplier of hotel guests.
It may be noted that Emirates Airlines carries more than 34 million passengers a year, a significant number of whom stay in the hotels.
Meanwhile, the Tourism Department of Dubai has successfully managed in boosting the number of tourists to Dubai due to initiatives to enhance position in the established markets of the world and tap new and emerging tourism source markets.
According to the statistics, Saudi Arabia emerged as the top source market for Dubai's tourism industry in 2011 with 873,152 guests, followed by India (702,142), UK (643,196), Iran (476,708) and the US (462,653).
Germany ranked sixth with 275,663 guests, while Kuwait and Russia scooped seventh and eighth positions with 273,253 and 255,746 guests, respectively. Oman emerged 9th on the list with 223,993 guests followed by Pakistan (221,374), China (193,791), Australia (179,214), France (152,439), Egypt (149,130), Philippines (125,408), Qatar (122,319), Italy (105,523), Jordan (95,818), Bahrain (91,238), and Lebanon (90,984).
Dubai hotel establishments' revenues were close to Dh16 billion last year, an increase of 20 per cent over 2010 revenues. Out of this, Dh13.6 billion were of the hotels, up considerably compared with 2012's Dh11.2 billion. Hotel apartments too recorded considerable gains by posting Dh2.2 billion last year, up from Dh1.9 billion in 2010.
The impressive performance by hotels and hotel apartments were recorded despite a five per cent increase in the number of hotel rooms and hotel apartment flats, which stood last year at 53,828 rooms and 21,015 hotel apartment flats. However, the number of hotels and hotel apartments last year was 575, up from 573 in 2010.