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Monday, April 02, 2007 - Dubai

Business Hotel Growth in the Region Focus at ‘Depa Middle East Hotel Awards’

Inclusion of new ‘Standard Hotel Room of the Year’ reflects growth in mixed use developments in the region; Dubai ‘City Hotels’ grow 40% in 2006

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According to the latest statistics from the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) in Dubai, the number of business hotels grew by 40 percent from 48 in the first quarter of 2006 to 67 in the fourth quarter the same year. In terms of available rooms, the growth in new properties increased the number of available rooms from 11,882 rooms to 13,547 rooms over the same period, which translates into a 14 percent increase in room capacity.

“To reflect on-going hospitality trends in Dubai and across the region, and in-line with our decision to make this year’s ‘Depa Middle East Hotel Awards’ more interactive, we decided to add a new category entitled ‘Standard Hotel Room of the Year’,” said Mohannad Sweid, Depa’s Chief Executive Officer. “The decision to add this new category came to reflect the tremendous growth of business hotel activity in the region. This has meant that hotel properties have had to ride this wave and increase the quality and services targeted to business people and their respective requirements.”

“In Dubai, the business hotel sector grew 38 percent in revenue terms in 2006, which is significant and is a reflection of a general regional trend,” commented Sweid.

The major international hotel chains have been actively developing properties in the region. In Dubai, the number of hotel properties is slated to increase from 94 today to a stunning 221 by 2012.

“The growth in Middle East economies over the past few years, driven by a general acceptance of more liberal trade policies and higher oil prices, has stimulated economic development and business opportunities in the region. This has attracted a growing number of regional and international business travelers,” he continued.

Depa Hotel Awards for 2007 will be held in Dubai once again on May 2nd concurrent with the Arabian Travel Market (ATM). The Awards are designed to recognize and reward outstanding service, performance and creativity by hotels and hoteliers in a variety of carefully selected award categories, and are open to all four and five star hotels in the region. They aim to provide an unbiased and international standard of excellence for hotels in the Middle East and North Africa – and this year, the judges will be the people in the industry itself!

The Awards play a prominent and high profile role in the development of the Middle East’s Hotel and hospitality industry, and the Gala dinner on the night of May 2nd will be attended by senior executives and personalities from the Middle East and North Africa hospitality industry, along with high profile guests and media.

Event sponsors include: HSBC Group, Arab Bank, Al Aqariya TV, City 7 TV, S.Pellegrino, Acqua Panna, The Hotel Show, WSI Internet Consulting and Mediaone


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