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Fairmont Dubai achieves opening success

The new five star Fairmont Hotel announces an occupany rate of 75-80% since it opened in February 2002.

The newest five star hotel in Dubai, The Fairmont, delivered encouraging news that will certainly be welcome by the hospitality industry in the UAE. The hotel had more than half of its 394 rooms and suites available during its initial opening period, and was able to achieve an occupancy rate of between 75 and 80 per cent.

Many hotels in Dubai and the Middle East suffered in the wake of the September 11 attacks. Some hotels in Egypt and Jordan reported a decline in occupancy rates by as much as 70%. While hotels in the GCC performed did not suffer as much, some reported occupancy rates as low as 40-50%. According to the Andersen Hotel Industry Benchmark Survey, “the Middle East was enjoying mixed performance until August, with markets in the Gulf and Egypt ahead of 2000. Of the 25 markets in the Middle East tracked by Andersen, 24 recorded a decline in September for room occupancy compared to last September.” Six months since the attack, many hotels in the GCC are reporting that the situation is very much business as usual.

“Despite some schools of thought who considered The Fairmont Dubai as ‘one hotel too many’ in the deluxe sector in the city, our success has highlighted the success of Dubai as both a tourism and commerce centre,” said Michael Kaile, vice president and general manager. “There is no doubt that the continued growth of the city in all sectors has been nothing short of astonishing,” added Kaile.

While the corporate sector has been the mainstay of The Fairmont Dubai, Kaile said they were beginning to see interest for weekend leisure traffic, while the opening of the restaurants has stimulated the local market.

The Fairmont Dubai is unveiling its facilities in an Opening Season leading up to the Arabian Travel Market in Dubai (May 7 to 10), when it will act as host hotel for the event.

According to World Tourism Organisation figures, Dubai is one of the world’s fastest growing business and tourism destinations. Tourism in 2000 was 20% of GDP and since 1997 revenues have been rising by an estimated 11% annually and the number of visitors to the emirate by 5% annually.

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