Dubai has established a new strategy aimed at attracting the emerging Africa’s middle class.
The Emirate is one of the world’s leading tourist destinations and a playground for the rich and famous.
Some of the world’s wealthiest people and global superstars of sports already own properties and are regular visitors to the city. Well, the city has set its sights on Africa with its growing middle class as the next target for tourism to Dubai.
Dubai Set to Welcome More Africa Tourists
The New Initiative
One of the cornerstones of this strategy is the focus on low-cost hotels; while the city has some of the most opulent and exclusive hotels in the world that cater to the rich and famous, they are expensive to the new middle classes in Africa.
The city aims to establish a series of three and four-star hotels to cater for its new African guests. The objective of the new strategy, according to Anas Allouch, the Director of Communications at Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, “would allow these travellers [Africans] to spend a few nights in Dubai and to enjoy all the leisure and advantages that the city offers.”
To encourage and promote the establishment of these new hotels, the government has created a waiver scheme that hotel owners can use to eliminate some of the fees associated with the hotel for the first ten years of its operations.
Growth in African Visitors
Today, of the 12 million visitors who visit Dubai annually, only 5% come from Africa.
Dubai Tourism plans to expand these number as the economies of African countries grow.
From January to October 2016, Egypt provided 200,000 visitors, while 120,000 Nigerians visited Dubai. Sadly, the visitor numbers from these countries are now down due to various economic problems.
The Nigerian economy is facing a recession plus the recent devaluation of the Egyptian Pound, it will be some time before visitor numbers from both countries recover, but the establishment of more low-cost hotels is a good news for tourists from Africa who wishes and can afford to visit Dubai.
Dubai is targeting a near-doubling of its visitor numbers to 20 million by the time the Dubai Expo comes along in 2020.