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Dubai hotel rooms set to double

London: Dubai’s hotel capacity will increase to 41,500 rooms and apartments by the end of this year and double to 86,600 by 2016, a top official said.

“In tandem with the growth of visitors, the number and diversity of Dubai’s hotels has increased from 191 in 1994 to 302 hotels and 108 hotel apartments offering 38,608 rooms or units in the first quarter of 2006, while by the end of 2006 Dubai will have 41,500 rooms and apartments, a figure that will grow to 86,600 in 2016,” Mohammad Khamis Bin Hareb, director of Operations and Marketing at the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), told Gulf News at the World Travel Market in London yesterday.

A record 56 entities from Dubai are participating in the emirate’s pavilion at the WTM this year. DTCM is participating at WTM this year with 95 exhibitors occupying an area of more than 500 square metres.

“What we are looking for is results and concrete business and business relations to be established between Dubai’s establishments and their foreign counterparts,” he added.

DTCM seeks as well to spread its experience among other emirates, as the department stands on a long history of promoting the UAE.

“All the renowned world famous names in the field of tourism are represented in Dubai one way or another, and accordingly it will be easier to use Dubai as a base for spreading this international popularity to promote the rest of the country,” Bin Hareb said adding that the department is not only seeking to have an influential role in the local tourism industry, but at the GCC member countries level as well.

“The DTCM understands the training and information needs of travel trade executives which enables us to assist with their knowledge in selling,” added Baerbel Kirchner, director of the DTCM’s UK and Ireland office.

With 920,000 British visitors to Dubai last year, the UK represents one of the most important European markets for the department, “and the target is to consistently increase that figure,” commented Bin Hareb.

The department is not only targeting tourism promotion, as the focus this year is also on increasing the number of joint ventures and inviting international names to manage tourism facilities, as well as increasing foreign investments in the field of tourism in general.

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