Dubai will never offer 'cheap accommodation'

Quality hotels will be key as Dubai expands in lead-up to Expo 2020

HE Helal Saeed Al Marri, director general of Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing.
HE Helal Saeed Al Marri, director general of Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing.

As Dubai looks to double its hotel room portfolio in the lead-up to hosting 25 million visitors during World Expo 2020, the head of the emirate’s tourism board has stated that the focus will be on “quality” rather than “cheap” accommodation.

At the Meed Destination Dubai 2020 conference yesterday, keynote speaker HE Helal Saeed Al Marri, director general of Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, acknowledged Dubai needed to add affordable accommodation to its room offering, but emphasised that it must be “quality affordable accommodation”.

“Dubai is definitely not going to become a destination with cheap accommodation,” asserted Al Marri.

“We are definitely remaining a premium and desirable destination and if you look at our three- and four-star hotel product on offer today, it is definitely attractive by global standards and the reason why many people choose to come here is because…our four-star standard is exceptionally high and we expect this to continue,” he said.

During a later session, Jumeirah Group president and group CEO Gerald Lawless, agreed that quality must prevail.

“We at Jumeirah are in the five- star luxury bracket but we also know that their needs to be a broad base of different hotel types, apartments, three-star and four-star hotels, but I think we will never forget that Dubai is based on quality. Whether you’re a three-star or four-star hotel you’ve got to be the best three-star or the best four-star and I think that’s very important,” commented Lawless.

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