Dubai to double number of hotel rooms by 2020

Investors have spent more than $110 billion to transform Dubai into the Middle East’s commercial and entertainment hub, is seeking to attract 20 million tourists annually by the end of the decade, Helal Saeed Almarri, director-general of the Dubai Tourism and Commerce Marketing, or DTCM, said in an interview. 

Dubai plans to almost double the number of hotel rooms by 2020 as it expects a surge of visitors to the emirate ahead of that year’s World Expo.

Dubai, which spent more than $110 billion to transform itself into the Middle East’s commercial and entertainment hub, is seeking to attract 20 million tourists annually by the end of the decade. To do that, it needs to raise the number of hotel rooms to as many as 160,000, many of them not in the luxury category Dubai is known for, he said.

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Dubai lured 11 million tourists last year, up 11 percent from 2012, contributing to economic expansion of 4.9 percent, the fastest pace in six years. Tourism accounted for about 20 percent of gross domestic product in 2013, and is forecast to increase between seven percent and 9 percent through 2020, Almarri said.

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