The UAE’s most populous city Dubai is aiming to become the world’s most popular city destination by 2020 and attract 25 million tourists in the next five years.
The ambitious project is part of the city’s long-term growth strategy.
The target is anchored on attracting 25 million tourists in the next five years, Issam Kazim, Chief Executive Officer, Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DCTCM), said, adding that despite lingering fears of plummeting oil prices and a strong dollar it can be achieved.
“The emirate is on track to achieve all the targets for the 2020 vision beyond the Expo,” said Kazim.
He said the city will be looking at different types of tourists in the period leading up to and beyond 2020.
“There will be more cultural and business tourists, and as such the city will need to offer more mid-range hotels,” he said at the Destination Dubai 2020 conference here.
Kazim said the government had started to incentivize investors that are looking to develop three and four star hotels.
“We currently have 51 applications for mid-level hotels, this is an important component that will help the emirate achieve this target,” he said.
He also confirmed that there are 20,000 room keys in the pipeline that will be completed in 2016.
“We are also on target to achieve our 150,000 keys by 2020,” Kazim said, adding that the expected influx of tourists will also require increased capacity of Dubai’s airports.
The airline is on track to meet its 70 million passenger target by 2020 and can be seamlessly handled by Dubai’s network of airports, which by 2020 will have a capacity of handling well over 110 million passengers, said Sheikh Majid Al Mualla, Divisional Senior Vice-President of Commercial Operations, Emirates.
He said the number of tourists travelling to Dubai had tripled in the past decade.