The hotel investment industry has been given a financial incentive to develop more mid-range hotels in Dubai, in a move to swell the Emirate's supply of four and three star properties. Through the incentive, announced in September, eligible hotels will be granted a concession on the standard 10 per cent Municipality Fee which is levied on the room rate for each night of occupancy.
The initiative is designed to incentivize hotel owners to bring forward their construction timelines, creating more three and four star hotel rooms in Dubai more quickly. It is the result of collaboration between government partners DTCM and Dubai Municipality and part of the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing's (DTCM) strategy to achieve Dubai's Tourism Vision for 2020, which aims to attract 20 million annual visitors to Dubai by 2020 - a strategy approved by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai in May of this year.
The announcement was made by His Excellency Helal Saeed Almarri, Director-General of DTCM.
His Excellency Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General of DTCM said: "In order to achieve our headline objective of 20 million visitors per year by 2020, we need to both increase the overall stock of hotel rooms in Dubai and widen the range of options for visitors. In recent years the number of three and four star establishments has increased, but it's vital that we continue to engineer the growth of this range.
"A number of hotel properties are either under construction or in the planning stages in Dubai and, under the directive of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, this incentive has been designed to bring those properties to market sooner. While our Tourism Vision has an end date of 2020, our strategy is focused on continual growth year-on-year, and we want to see the destination offer noticeably broaden every year. The equation is simple - the sooner the property opens, the bigger financial incentive the hotel owner will receive."
Investors in new hotels will be granted a waiver on the Fee for a period of four years from the date the permit to construct is granted and provided that this date is between 1st October 2013 and 31st December 2017.
Dubai's Tourism Vision for 2020 was approved by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, in May 2013 and includes the headline objective of welcoming 20 million annual visitors by 2020: in 2012, Dubai welcomed 10 million visitors for the first time; the Vision requires a doubling of this figure to meet the 2020 target.
His Excellency Helal Saeed Almarri stated during the interview: "We continue to focus on three key objectives: maintaining market share in our existing source markets; increasing market share in markets where there is high growth potential; and increasing the number of repeat visits. In order to successfully achieve these objectives, it is vital that we harness the collective power of key stakeholders, both in the public and private sectors in Dubai and abroad. The incentive announced is just one example of the initiatives we will be taking to help foster this collaboration."
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