Hotels set sights on Dubai World Central

Hotels set sights on Dubai World CentralImage Credit: Supplied

Dubai World Central (DWC), the area that will have the infrastructure for Expo 2020, is attracting players in the hospitality industry.

Dubai's Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) expects 25 million visitors at Expo 2020, a global exhibition that is likely to boost sentiment and confidence of the UAE's economy in the short term.

Major hotel chains, including Jumeirah Group, Accor and Rotana, are considering opening hotels in DWC and the area around it.

''There is high level of interest for all hotel operators, including three, four and five-star brands, wanting to expand in the area in and around DWC and Al Maktoum International Airport,'' Christopher Hewett, Senior Consultant at TRI Hospitality Consulting, said.

He pointed out that there will likely be a large increase in supply for three and four star hotels in the area as a result of the government's recent initiatives for incentivising the development of properties in this segment, including a ten per cent municipality fee waiver, which was announced in September.

More recently, the government announced the allocation of government land for the development of three- and four-star hotels, no fees on changing the usage of land to hotel usage and the establishment of a committee to review re-zoning of plots.

Similarly, Chiheb Ben Mahmoud, head of hotels and hospitality group for the Middle East and Africa at Jones Lang LaSalle, says DWC is a new part of the city and will have a combination of hotels in different segments.

''The chosen site for Expo 2020 marks the geographical expansion of Dubai towards the southern boundaries of the emirate. It is within this context that new hotel owners and developers are and should be assessing their location decision. This said, the area will not be a large budget hotel district,'' Ben Mahmoud said.

The demand for DWC will not only come from the hospitality sector, but also from other sectors, according to Hewett.

''Upon completion, the DWC master plan will have a diverse array of demand generators from the airport, commercial, residential, industrial sectors, which all have different requirements for accommodation,'' he said.

The interest for hotel development in and around DWC has been in place since the initial plans were created, and picked up with the commencement of cargo flights in 2010 and passenger flights in 2013, according to Hewett.

''As Al Maktoum International Airport continues to increase its passenger and flight capacity, we will see further need for accommodation close to the airport,'' he said.

Expo 2020 will not only have an impact on the hotel market in Dubai but also in other emirates, according to Hewett.

''The Expo is not only an event for Dubai but for the entire UAE and we believe there will be a high level of demand in all areas of the country as visitors take the opportunity to visit the attractions other emirates have to offer,'' he said.

Source: Sarah Algethami, Staff Reporter,


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