The Continuing Rise of the UAE
According to recent statistics issued by the tourism departments in Abu Dhabi and Dubai,
these two emirates’ tourism numbers grew by 3.6 percent during the first three months of 2018, compared to the same period last year. Hotel occupancy increased by 1.2 percent and room occupancy rose by 5.7 percent.Dubai is nearing its 2020 tourism target as it welcomed a total of 15.79 million visitors last year, up by 6.2 percent over a year earlier. But it’s not just Abu Dhabi and Dubai that are experiencing an upswing in tourism. Other emirates in the UAE (there are seven in total), specifically Sharjah and Ajman, also saw a spike in their tourism sector.
Ajman saw its hotel guests increase by 14 percent in the first half of 2018, compared to the same period last year, and the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority recently unveiled Sharjah Tourism Vision 2021, aiming to attract more than 10 million tourists by year 2021, when the UAE celebrates its 50th anniversary.
World-class hotels are synonymous with the UAE and, once again, the region is enjoying another surge in hotel openings. In Sharjah, the Al Bait hotel, (www.ghmhotels.com) is the emirate’s newest hotel (scheduled to open September 1, 2018 as of this writing), and offers a luxury escape just a mere 20 minutes from their “big sister” emirate, Dubai. The Al Bait Hotel in Sharjah’s name means “the home.” It is nestled within the UAE’s vibrant landscape, with convenient access to all the wonders this rising emirate has to offer. The Al Bait hotel will, architecturally, evoke a traditional feel with thatched roofs and motifs, but within its 53 rooms, this five-star hotel will have all the luxury amenities you would have come to expect from a hotel in the UAE.
Dubai’s downtown skyline is set to change with the Q4 2019 opening of a new architectural icon when the city’s first ME by Melia hotel (www.melia.com) opens its doors. ME Dubai will have 93 rooms and suites across 19 floors and have an impressive 15 restaurants, including contemporary Japanese restaurant ROKA.
Debuting in Dubai in late 2018, the Mandarin Oriental Jumeirah Beach (www.manda
rinoriental.com), overlooking the Arabian Gulf, will offer docking facilities for private yachts and 255 luxurious guestrooms and suites including eight over-the-water villas. There will be a spa, outdoor pool, fitness center and a dedicated beach club. Plans are for another Mandarin to open in 2020 in downtown Dubai.
Additionally, hotels in Dubai’s Al Habtoor City (a residential and leisure complex situated on Dubai’s Sheikh Zayed Road) are to be rebranded by Hilton this year (which were managed until recently by Marriott International). The properties will become known as Habtoor Palace Hotel, LXR Hotels & Resorts, V Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton and Hilton Dubai Al Habtoor City. The properties overlook Dubai Creek and are a short distance away from the some of the city’s landmarks such as the Burj Khalifa and Dubai Mall.
In Abu Dhabi, renowned hotelier Ian Schrager is set to open The Abu Dhabi Edition Hotel (www.editionhotels.com) in late 2018, the first Edition in the region. Part of the Marriott International portfolio, Edition hotels are a lifestyle brand known for their unique designs and contemporary vibe. It’s scheduled to be a 198-key waterfront property situated in Abu Dhabi Marina’s area. The hotel will also have two pools, a fitness center and a spa with seven treatment rooms.
TOURING THE REGION
Milan Tours has been one of Dubai’s well established holiday travel companies for over twelve years, and has created a high niche for itself in the tourism market. Milan Tours offers high quality group tours, private journeys and bespoke Gulf holidays in some of the world’s most fascinating destinations. Tours range from the lavish to the adventurous, and are planned by highly trained experts. The company’s professional and multi-lingual staff provides you and your clients with the best possible holiday experience. Milan Tours is the proud winner of the ‘Best Private Tour Organizer, 2013’ and ‘Certificate of Excellence’ awards from Trip Advisor.
For more information on all the happenings in the UAE, visit www.government.ae/en