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Dubai hotels gear up for more Chinese visitors


09:40, May 16, 2013

As Chinese tourists become an important pillar for Dubai's plan to increase the number of annual visitors from 10 million to 20 million by 2020, hotels in the sheikhdom are trying hard to cater for Chinese tourists.

More and more hotels in Dubai adapt for the growing number of Chinese tourists, who are attracted into the politically stable and booming Gulf Arab sheikhdom. Last year, "Fly-Buy-Dubai," as the sheikhdom is nicknamed, welcomed 300,000 tourists from China, 26 percent more than that in 2011, according to the official Dubai tourism body DTCM (Dubai Tourism and Commerce Marketing).

Toufic Tamim, the vice president marketing Middle East at Moevenpick, said one of the Swiss hotel group's five outlets in Dubai -- Ibn Battuta Gate Hotel -- is popular among Chinese tourists, as it has a Chinese restaurant, friendly Chinese staff and additional Mandarin writings in every room, besides Arabic and English. He added that the other four hotels would adapt to the same standards in case they register a growing share of Chinese guests.

A spokesperson of the 5-star Armani hotel noted that Chinese tourists like to travel where they can find Chinese food or Mandarin-speaking staff.

The Armani Hotel, named after the world famous fashion magnate from Italy, comprises 160 rooms occupying the first 40 floors in the world's tallest tower Burj Khalifa, which stands with a height of 828 meters in the heart of the emirate. The spokesperson said Chinese tourists appreciate the nearby Dubai Mall, the biggest shopping mall in the world.

During the New Year's week, more than 60 percent of hotel guests staying in the renowned seven-star hotel Burj Al Arab are Chinese, according to DTCM figures.

Helal Saeed Almarri, director general of DTCM, said last week that every month one of the 599 hotels in Dubai adds a new feature especially designed to cater the growing number of Chinese guests, adding that "China is a market of the future for Dubai, and we have good reasons to believe that this trend continues."

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