A month on, the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) says the hospitality and tourism sectors are now ‘rapidly rebounding.’Initiatives such as the Dubai Assured stamp has helped reassure travellers otherwise tentative about either visiting Dubai or its hotels. At the time of writing, more than 1,000 establishments have been given the government-backed hygiene stamp. Meanwhile hotel groups across the city have been receiving hygiene certifications of their own.
“Dubai continues to take effective steps under the guidance of the visionary leadership of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai to build on the strategic initiative to reopen the city to tourists on July 7," says HE Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General of Dubai Tourism."Since then, we have been greatly encouraged by the market’s response in the current second phase of our recovery strategy, which was activated along with the gradual resumption of economic sectors, as well as the staggered and tentative restart of travel across the world.
Dubai-based Jumeirah Group has recorded a significant improvement in bookings since July, with key source markets now flocking back to hotels. The group’s CEO, Jose Silva says: “In the first week following the reopening to international tourists, online bookings for planned stays on Jumeirah’s website doubled from the previous week while its properties registered an average daily increase of 109 percent in booked room nights.”Even without the iconic Burj Al Arab, which is still closed, Jumeirah has seen ‘considerable interest’ from international markets, namely Europe and Russia.
National carriers Emirates Airline and flydubai are also facilitating the tourism sector’s recovery. Emirates will be operating to a total of 70 destinations across six continents in August, while flydubai is set to expand its network to 66 destinations over the summer.
“Examples of the vigorous new protocols we have put in place include circulating three times more fresh air throughout our hotels, provision of hygiene amenities, leaving rooms vacant between guest stays, using disinfectant fogging for rooms and thermal hygiene processes for our bedding and pillows,” he added.Issam Kazim, CEO of DTCM says: “We knew that most travellers will look at the type of healthcare services and processes in place before selecting a holiday destination. We put in place a zero-tolerance approach in the management of health and safety protocols at hotels, retail outlets and tourist attractions with regular monitoring to ensure compliance.
“As a destination, Dubai is always prepared to evolve in the face of global challenges. We expect to see significant progress and are looking forward to galvanising growth as confidence builds further in the months ahead."Dubai’s domestic sectors have acted as a lifeline while international tourism inches towards normality. As early as May, Dubai saw many of its beach hotels hit 80 percent occupancy on the weekends. Staycation and daycation offers have become the norm for hotels, where domestic guests are drawn in by hefty discounts and benefits.
“The domestic market has proven extremely important and we are seeing increased demand at Jumeirah properties, particularly over the weekends. Dedicated staycation offers are helping to drive ongoing interest together with the introduction of new dining concepts to enhance the experience. For example, we recently opened our French Riviera pop-up at Jumeirah Al Qasr and have other new dining activations planned for the coming months,” adds Silva.