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Dubai promotes family travel as visitor numbers peak

Dubai positions itself as a 'must-visit family destination' and welcomes record numbers of tourists for the first half of this year. Tourism officials in the emirate say this is due to their ever-increasing hotel portfolio to appeal and cater to a broader range of visitors as well as their diversification of tourism products and unique attractions.

Dubai promotes family travel as visitor numbers peak

Dubai intends to drive growth in tourism by positioning itself as a "must-experience family destination", according to Director General of Dubai's Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing Helal Saeed Almarri.

His comments came after the government department published figures revealing record visitor numbers to the country in the first half of this year. Saeed explained:

"We are constantly diversifying our tourism offering and increasing our hotel portfolio to attract, and cater to, a broader market of visitors."

Hotels are helping to enhance the appeal of Dubai as a family holiday destination by offering excellent kids clubs and entertainment programs, with Ritz-Carlton Hotels introducing the Ritz Kids program earlier this year, for instance. Elsewhere, Dubai's family tourism offering includes the popular Aquaventure water theme park, and Magic Planet, an enormous indoor family entertainment centre.

More than 5.8 million people travelled to Dubai during the first six months of 2014, which is the highest number of visitors to the country ever recorded. The Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) reported increases across key indicators including the number of hotel guests and hotel room revenues.

Saeed also explained:

"The figures for the first half of 2014 are encouraging and we continue to build on this growth to ensure a successful second half of the year.

"In addition to the increase in hotel guest numbers, since the end of June 2013, Dubai has added more than 7,000 hotel rooms to its inventory, with the total now standing at 88,680 across 634 establishments."

Total hotel revenues for the first half of 2014 showed significant growth, up 10.9% on the previous year.

The average length of stay for visitors to Dubai has also been steadily increasing as the country strives to become more than a stop-over or short break destination. Travellers now stay for an average of 3.9 days, with the length of stay increasing to 3.4 days for hotels, and 5.7 days for hotel apartments in 2014.

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