Golden Sands Hotel Apartments general manager Mohammed Khoori. Golden Sands Hotel Apartments general manager Mohammed Khoori.

Dubai-based Golden Sands Hotel Apartments will continue to bet heavily on key feeder market India whilst hedging on emerging market Australia, general manager Mohammed Khoori revealed during an interview with Hotelier Middle East during the 2017 Arabian Travel Market (ATM).

“All markets are important to us. We cater for all the markets. Of course, India is one of the biggest source to Dubai and to us – we are looking to expand heavily in that market. We think this is one of the strong potential markets to Dubai and to us,” Khoori said.

“We think this is one of the strong potential markets to Dubai and to us.”

He also enthused about Australia:  “Also we are looking to expand more into the Australia market – we feel there is more possibility to get more visitors from that region.”

Like most hospitality providers in the region, he expressed caution with regards to prospects regarding China, citing the importance of preparedness when welcoming Chinese travellers: “We will not yet go for China this year – we need to be prepared in advance to receive the guests from China, as it is quite a special market.  I think we will go after that market very soon and as soon as we are ready, we will go and visit that important market and tell them about us.”

Khoori expressed bullishness for Dubai's tourism prospects moving forward this year, stressing that the recent drop in average rates across the emirate is good for the destination as a whole in the long term.

"During the Q1 this year, Dubai was having very healthy growth and occupancy. I don’t think more inventory is going to affect the occupancy because we have a government who really thinks about improving the tourism sector," he said.

The biggest example is allowing Chinese and Russians to obtain visas on arrival and more Indians coming to the UAE. Yes, there is a lot of supply but the government is balancing that with a lot of new ideas and thinking."

He continued: "However, there is a drop in ADR – I think this drop is very healthy for the destination. Dubai becomes really more affordable to a lot of people who want to come and visit. This is a very good advantage where it is the guests who will enjoy the benefit."

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