Dubai hotels to part-fund new DCTCM tourism body

New 'tourism dirham' to be as yet unspecified charge per guest night

Hotels in Dubai will soon be subjected to the 'Tourism Dirham'.
Hotels in Dubai will soon be subjected to the 'Tourism Dirham'.

The newly-announced Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DCTCM) will be part funded by Dubai hotels, HE Helal Saeed Almarri, director general of Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) revealed.

Speaking at the Destination Dubai 2020 conference on Tuesday, Almarri said the hospitality industry will be charged a “tourism dirham”, to support the income of DCTCM, established this week under a decree by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice president and prime minister of the UAE and ruler of Dubai.

DCTCM, an affiliate of the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), will take direct responsibility for the marketing and promotion of the Emirate of Dubai, which will include the promotion of the “Dubai brand” and the commercial marketing of the Emirate and its tourist facilities, resorts, products and services.

Almarri explained the rationale: “I think as we look at the strength of Dubai’s brand around the world — we now I’m sure very few of us go to places in the world where people haven’t heard of Dubai —and as we take that forward and we really work towards establishing Dubai as a major hub there needs to be a significant amount of effort put into managing our brand and managing our messaging across the world and also attracting the people that will come here both for tourism and ultimately for the expo.

“What HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, ruler of Dubai, has done is create an entity whose sole responsibility and focus is to bring together all the various stakeholders to ensure that we have a very measured approach to this and I think that’s something that will definitely add to the landscape here and will definitely ensure that we move forward at the speed Dubai is used to,” he said.

The DCTCM’s income flow will come from government and other entities, including the hospitality industry.

Almarri said: “The income flow of the corporation – it has a budget from the government, it also has a number of co-promotion exercises and it works with many different entities on that. It initially has a flow from the hospitality industry, which is called the tourism dirham and is a minimum amount from each guest night”.

He added that a leadership team for DCTCM was being appointed and would be announced in the coming months.

Speaking after the announcement, TRI Hospitality senior consultant Christopher Hewett said: "Based upon my review of the announcement, the Tourism Dirham will be imposed on the daily room charge of guests staying at both hotels and hotel apartments in Dubai. Currently all guests pay a 10 percent municipality fee on their nightly accommodation and this fee could simply be increased to accommodate the new fee, or a new fee might be introduced."

"As the amount has yet to be announced it will be difficult to anticipate what approach hotels will take, weather to pass it on directly to guests or to include it into the overall room rate," he added.

When approached for further comment, a DTCM spokesperson confirmed the existence of the 'Tourism Dirham' but said that more information will be announced over the next 7-10 days.

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