Dubai can achieve 15m tourist target by 2015 - expert

  • Share via facebook
  • Tweet this
  • Bookmark and Share

Dubai tourism chiefs' ambitious target to attract 15 million international tourists by 2015 is achievable despite the current global economic downturn, an industry expert said on Tuesday.

However, Dr Cedwyn Fernandes, associate professor at Middlesex University who has also worked for over a decade in the airline industry, said tourism officials would need to change their focus and look east for a growing number of tourists.

He also said more emphasis needs to be placed on the budget end of the market rather than the luxury market, at which Dubai has traditionally excelled.

He predicted that in the near future there would be a significant change in the numbers and demographic of tourists and the infrastructure should be in place to meet the increased numbers.

"The tourism authority in Dubai should focus its marketing plans on attracting tourists from the Arab countries and Indian sub-continent. Moreover the tourist's facilities should also be designed to cater to the needs of the Arab and Indian sub-continent visitors," he said.

Speaking at the Middlesex University's Research Seminar series in Dubai, Fernandes said that the elasticity of demand for tourism from Arab countries was highly income elastic and proper marketing strategies should be put in place to increase the number of tourists from these countries.

His study covered tourists arriving in Dubai from 30 countries over a period of 10 years spanning from 1997 to 2006.

Using this data, the study linked the demand for tourism to real income of the tourists, relative prices between the tourist's home country and UAE and hotel accommodation costs in Dubai.

He added: "Tourists from European, North America and Japan had a positive income elasticity of demand for tourism and a negative impact of relative prices.

"Some evidence of these findings can be seen in the current recessionary trends across developed countries where tourism demand from these countries is on the decline. The strengthening of the Dirham vis-à-vis European currencies has made Dubai a more expensive place with a resultant fall in tourists from these countries."

The study also showed that for visitors from the Indian sub-continent, income was not a significant variable in the demand for tourism to Dubai.

"One reason for this is that there exists a large pent up demand for tourism to Dubai from this region and the numbers of people who can and want to visit Dubai is large," he added.

The expert suggested that the marketing strategy of Dubai Tourism should be focused on how to actualise this demand, for a start it should look at easing visa procedures.

"Dubai has one of the highest hotel room rates in the world and in order to draw in a larger number of visitors, emphasis should be on budget hotels too," said Fernandes.

Join the Discussion

Disclaimer:The view expressed here by our readers are not necessarily shared by Arabian Business, its employees, sponsors or its advertisers.

Please post responsibly. Commenter Rules

Posted by: Raj

Pls Cedwyn, save the academic analysis. What is in DUbai that other places cannot offer? Come on.

Enter the words above: Enter the numbers you hear:

All comments are subject to approval before appearing

Further reading

Features & Analysis
How Dubai is helping Ireland's economic push

How Dubai is helping Ireland's economic push

Tourism is now Ireland’s second-largest industry, and is playing...

Over half of suppliers asked for bribes by hotel managers - survey

Over half of suppliers asked for bribes by hotel managers - survey

Nearly three quarters of suppliers said they know of other firms...

The new RNB stars

The new RNB stars

How Jason Myers, Gert Kopera and Christian Gradnitzer plan to...

Most Discussed
  • 10
    UAE teens among the highest for obesity rates

    Everyone in UAE knows that biggest is best.

    UAE may not light up the international league tables in standard of living, education standards, press... more

    Friday, 29 August 2014 4:20 PM - Proud UAEer
  • 9
    Saudi Arabia seeks talks on hiring of Sri Lankan maids

    perhaps the unemployed saudi men or the millions of women who are not allowed to work could pick up a broom and start sweeping their own houses. more

    Sunday, 31 August 2014 3:28 PM - nice
  • 9
    Smoke-free Dubai - the big debate

    Surprisingly the only studies that show a negative financial impact of the smoking ban on the hospitality industry are sponsored by tobacco companies ... more

    Wednesday, 27 August 2014 4:19 PM - Telcoguy
  • 24
    World's most pierced man refused entry to the UAE

    Tolerance has its limits everywhere including Dubai and those who considered Dubai a lawless circus were held thank you Dubai authorities... more

    Thursday, 21 August 2014 10:51 PM - Khalil
  • 23
    Baby NOT on board?

    Some of you cry babies need to get your own personal apartments on the plane ! You cry more then the babies I have seen in my travels. LOL more

    Thursday, 28 August 2014 9:10 AM - Jim
  • 21
    Israel “must be punished” over Gaza, says Dubai police chief

    This high moral ground that Mick is talking abt sound very familiar. May I remind Mick that the US & its British ally alone killed over 1 million innocent... more

    Thursday, 7 August 2014 4:12 PM - Mathew