Emaar’s leisure arm records 13% increase in visitors

Emaar Leisure served more than 4.75 million residents and tourists last year
Emaar’s leisure arm records 13% increase in visitors
The Dubai Mall was the worlds most visited leisure destination in 2011
By Claire Ferris-Lay
Sun 12 Feb 2012 10:05 AM

Visitors to Emaar’s leisure attractions increased 13 percent in 2011 to more than 4.75 million, the property developer has said.

Reel Cinemas, operated by Emaar Retail, recorded 2.2 million visitors last year while its Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo at Dubai Mall served 1.1 million residents and tourists, Emaar Retail said.

“Today, leisure is an integral part of retailing and the challenge is to create innovative offerings that drive visitor traffic. Emaar Retail has set clear benchmarks in the retail and leisure sector of Dubai, which is highlighted by the impressive growth achieved by our leisure attractions in 2011,”Arif Amiri, CEO of Emaar Retail, said in an emailed statement.

Dubai, home to some of the world’s lavish shopping malls and hotels, has long been a leading shopping and leisure destination. The emirate benefited from a rise in tourists last year as the Arab Spring unrest in the region’s traditional travel hotspots diverted business towards the Gulf country.

Hotels in Dubai outperformed the Middle East significantly in June posting a 12 percent year-on-year rise in occupancy to 70 percent, according to data from Deloitte and STR Global.

Revenue per available room (RevPAR) increased 14 percent to $111 aided in part by the city’s reputation as a safe haven amid the Arab Spring revolts, said the two firms.

Tourism contributes about 25 percent to Dubai's economy.

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