Saudi travelers boosting Dubai tourism

Updated 04 March 2014
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Saudi travelers boosting Dubai tourism

Saudi tourists played a vital role in boosting the Dubai tourism sector last year. The Kingdom, which has consistently been Dubai’s primary source market, experienced a big boost with guest numbers up by 19.9 percent to 1.35 million. In 2012, Dubai received 1.13 million visitors from Saudi Arabia.
In total, Dubai’s hotels welcomed more than 11 million guests in 2013, an increase of just over one million on the 2012 numbers.
According to statistics released by Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), Saudi Arabia (1,353,819), India (888,835), the UK (758,657), the United States (510,423), Russia (403,990), Kuwait (336,032), Germany (324,352), Oman (290,826), Iran (277,847) and China (275,675) made up the top 10 for the January-December 2013 period.
Australia (269,147), Pakistan (259,457), Egypt (207,327), France (186,438), Qatar (171,742), Philippines (135,638), Italy (132,992), Jordan (119,602), Lebanon (111,682) and the Netherlands (100,934) are the other toppers.
Guest numbers across all hotel establishments (hotels and hotel apartments) in 2013 reached 11,012,487, a 10.6 percent increase on the 9,957,161of 2012.
“The strong growth shown in hotel establishment guests in 2013 is a positive first step on our journey to 2020. Having announced the Tourism Vision for 2020 in May 2013, a 10.6 percent growth in hotel establishment guests demonstrates that we are on the track to double the 10 million tourists received in 2012 to 20 million per year by 2020 and is an affirmation of the destination’s ever increasing appeal,” says Helal Saeed Almarri, director general of DTCM.
The Australian market experienced the most growth, with numbers up by 39 percent from more than 193,000 in 2012 to more than 269,000 in 2013. China ranked 10th also continued to show a significant increase, with visitors up by 11 percent.
Revenues for hoteliers and hotel apartment operators saw significant growth with total revenues up by 16.1 percent reaching AED21.84 billion for 2013.
Total guest nights also recorded increases, up 11 percent to 41.57 million compared to 37.45 million in 2012.
Occupancy rates for hotels’ rooms and apartments increased from 78 percent to 80 percent, while the occupancy rate for hotel apartments was 82 percent, up 6.5 percent when compared to 2012.
The number of hotel rooms and apartments at the end of 2013 amounted to a total of 84,534 (611 establishments) compared to 80,414 (599 establishments) in 2012, representing an increase of over 5 percent.
In the current development pipeline for 2014-2016, there will be an additional 141 hotel establishments added to the market, including 99 hotels and 48 hotel apartments, bringing the total to 751 hotel establishments and just under 114,000 rooms.
“A 16.1 percent increase in revenues for our hoteliers is an indicator of the healthy state of the hospitality industry while an occupancy rate of 82 percent demonstrates to the hotel investment industry that Dubai is one of the world’s most attractive investment opportunities. In order to provide accommodation for our targeted visitor numbers for 2020, we estimate the need for a total of around 140,000 to 160,000 rooms and will work closely with the investment industry to make this happen,” Almarri added.


China opens up finance sector to more foreign investment

Updated 20 July 2019
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China opens up finance sector to more foreign investment

  • China will remove shareholding limits on foreign ownership of securities, insurance and fund management firms in 2020
  • Beijing has long promised to further open up its economy to foreign business participation and investment

BEIJING: China lifted some restrictions on foreign investment in the financial sector Saturday, as the world’s second largest economy fights slowing growth at home and a damaging trade war with the US.
China will remove shareholding limits on foreign ownership of securities, insurance and fund management firms in 2020, a year earlier than originally planned, the Financial Stability and Development Committee said in a statement posted by the central bank Saturday.
Foreign investors will also be encouraged to set up wealth management firms, currency brokerages and pension management companies, the statement said.
Beijing has long promised to further open up its economy to foreign business participation and investment but has generally dragged its feet in implementing the moves — a major point of contention with Washington and Brussels.
Saturday’s announcement followed a Friday meeting chaired by economic czar Liu He where policymakers focused on tackling financial risk and financial contagion and pledged new steps to support growth, according to a state council statement.
Additional measures include scrapping entry barriers for foreign insurance companies like a requirement of 30 years of business operations and canceling a 25 percent equity cap on foreign ownership of insurance asset management firms.
Foreign owned credit rating agencies will also be allowed to evaluate a greater number of bond and debt types, the statement said.
US President Donald Trump has launched a damaging tariff war in an attempt to force Beijing to further open up its economy and limit what he calls its unfair trade practices.
The US and China have hit each other with punitive tariffs covering more than $360 billion in two-way trade.
Trump and Xi Jinping agreed to revive fractious trade negotiations when they met on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Japan on June 29 and top US and Chinese negotiators have held phone talks this month.