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Sat 24 Jan 2009 09:17 AM

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Dubai shopping festival boosts hotel occupancy

Occupancy levels increased by up to 10% in the first week of the shopping festival.

The first week of the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) ended on a good note with various hotels reporting increased occupancy rates, it has been announced.

Up to 10 percent more rooms were booked at local hotels, which boosted occupancy rates to more than 80 percent in the Al Murooj Rotana Hotel and Suites, said Anke Glaessing, executive assistant manager.

"The first week of DSF had a rather good effect, we have witnessed a 10 per cent increase in hotel occupancy raising the room occupancy up to 81 percent. It's mostly business and leisure for all our visitors this time of the year."

This year the month long shopping festival, launched on Jan .15, is offering heavy discounts to encourage consumers at a time of economic concerns, said organiserd Dubai Tourism and Commerce Marketing.

Some hotels, including the Rotana, followed suit cutting room rates by 60 percent and offering discounts of 20 percent at their restaurants, Glaessing added    Hotels are expecting occupancy to remain high as the conference season kicks off this week with the likes of Arab Health.  "It's a busy season, several big conferences are coming up and occupancy will increase considerably compared to the pre-DSF period," said Tom Meyr, the regional general manager for InterContinental Hotel projects in Dubai Festival City.   Medhat Barsoom, manager at the Capitol Hotel, added, "The second half of January looks very active, especially from the GCC visitors."

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