Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has issued a new law to regulate the licensing and classification of hotel establishments in the Emirate.
The new rule gives the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) the status of official body to handle the licensing and classification of hotels in the city. The law will come into force three months after its publication in the Official Gazette.
Under the new law, the DTCM has already announced a new ‘Hotel Classification Scheme’. The scheme would classify hotels on the basis of their type and quality of accommodation, one to five star ratings, and the variety of services provided by them. The system categorizes establishments into hotels, resorts and guest houses.
“Our current system of classification dates back to 1998 and requires updating due to the vast growth of the hotel and hospitality sector in Dubai in the past 15 years. By adopting a multi-tiered framework of ratings, categories and designators, clearer choice will be provided to visitors. At the same time, new marketing opportunities are provided to hotels.” — Helal AlMarri, director general of DTCM
The new classification system was launched last year, but no assessment has been carried out to rate the hotels. The authorities have granted hotel establishments a one-year grace period to improve their rating, category and designators. The hospitality industry in Dubai, featuring about 60,000 out of the total 95,000 rooms in the UAE, is expected to drastically improve its service offerings. During 2012, Dubai hotels boasted impressive average occupancy rates of 76 percent, higher than any other Middle Eastern city.
As part of the city’s Tourism Vision 2020, the number of visitors is expected to surge from 10.1 million to 20 million annually. The hospitality industry in Dubai is likely to respond to this huge demand by increasing to 150000, the number of hotel rooms.