UAE records world’s 2nd highest hotel occupancy rate in 2020

ABU DHABI, The UAE tourism sector performed outstandingly in 2020 despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, revealed by the Ministry of Economy, noting that the sector was among the least affected and fastest to recover around the world.

The UAE recorded a 54.7 percent hotel occupancy rate in 2020 – the second highest in the world behind only China – while the global rate dropped to 37 percent under the weight of the pandemic, and hotels in the Middle East region recorded just 43 percent occupancy. This is in parallel to the significant decline in tourist activity, which fell by 74 percent around the world and 76 percent in the region.

Hospitality establishments welcomed 14.8 million guests in 2020, who spent 54.2 million nights in 1,089 different establishments that provided approximately 180,000 rooms, according to official statistics issued by the World Tourism Organisation and the Emirates Tourism Council – established by the Council of Ministers in January 2021 and chaired by Dr. Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Entrepreneurship and SMEs. This brings the average stay to 3.7 nights per guest, with returns of AED318.5 per room. Meanwhile, domestic tourism contributed AED41 billion to the national economy last year – a figure that is expected to double in the upcoming few years.

“The global tourism industry bore the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic,” noted Al Falasi. “Guided by the directives of its wise leadership, the UAE was able to quickly contain the outbreak’s impact on the local tourism sector, relying on innovation and agility in its efforts to provide incentives, launch initiatives, and create opportunities to accelerate the recovery of the tourism sector and boost its contribution to GDP.”

“Despite the tremendous challenges it brought onto the industry, the pandemic also created new opportunities for domestic tourism, with a surge in demand recorded over the past year, especially during the holidays and vacation season, and some establishments even reporting full occupancy. This reflects the high quality of the services the sector provides, which rank among the best in the world,” he explained. “Strengthening domestic tourism is essential for ensuring the tourism sector’s full recovery and driving faster economic recuperation. The UAE can benefit from its advanced infrastructure, modern facilities, and wide range of services and activities to promote itself as a tourist destination with a lot to offer visitors – be they UAE residents or travellers from abroad.”

Al Falasi asserted that the next stage will include further initiatives aiming to maintain the sector’s outstanding performance and boost chances for recovery: “The UAE Strategy for Domestic Tourism, the Unified Tourism Identity Strategy, and ‘The Most Beautiful Winter in the World’ campaign, all launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, Ruler of Dubai, were key to achieving these positive results locally, at a time when the global tourism sector still reels from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and with tight restrictions on movement still in place around the world.”

“The tourism sector’s accomplishments over the past year are a result of the notable efforts made by all relevant parties to promote the sector at the federal and local levels,” he added. “This is in addition to the proactive measures the UAE implemented to deal with the outbreak and minimise its impact on public health. UAE authorities actively encouraged widespread testing for infections, leading the world in the number of tests performed as a percentage of the total population. The preventive measures established a sense of reassurance and helped create a safe environment to welcome tourists.”

According to global statistics on tourism, China ranked first in the world in occupancy rates at hotel establishments with a rate of 58 percent, followed by the UAE in second place with 54.7 percent, and the United States in third with 37 percent. The top three were followed by Mexico (32 percent), Turkey (30 percent), Thailand (27 percent), the United Kingdom (26 percent), Spain (23 percent), Italy (16 percent), and Germany (12 percent).

Statistics also revealed that the UAE suffered the least in terms of tourist traffic in 2020, where activity fell by just 45.2 percent – the lowest drop in the world. The UAE was followed by Mexico, where tourist traffic decreased by 52 percent, then Italy (63 percent), Germany (69 percent), Turkey (73 percent), Saudi Arabia (76 percent), the USA (77 percent), Spain (78 percent), the UK (82 percent), and Thailand (83 percent).

 

Source: Emirates News Agency

Dubai’s non-oil external trade reaches AED1.182 trillion in 2020

DUBAI, Dubai’s non-oil foreign trade strongly rebounded from the challenges posed by the global economic repercussions of COVID-19 and the suspension of business activity by countries across the world in the first half of last year to record high growth in 2020.

Boosted by its resilience to global headwinds, as well as its rapid economic recovery and revitalised growth in the second half of the year, Dubai’s foreign trade in 2020 touched AED1.182 trillion. Total trade volume in 2020 reached 100 million tonnes, driven by a 6% year-on-year volume growth in the second half of the year. Overall value of exports in 2020 grew 8% to AED167 billion while imports accounted for AED686 billion and re-exports totalled AED329 billion.

H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, said, “The exceptional growth performance of Dubai’s external trade sector reflects the emirate’s impressive resilience and its ability to recover and grow amidst international crises. Dubai has set an example for the world in dealing with both the economic and health repercussions of the pandemic. We were able to quickly renew our momentum of growth and reestablish our global leadership in various sectors.”

“This growth has been made possible by robust governance and the stimulus packages the Dubai Government launched under the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. The stimulus packages included a number of initiatives to support the foreign trade sector and enable it to continue playing its important role in national economic growth. The strong trade performance signals a positive start to the ‘Year of the 50th’’ and the efforts to achieve the goals of the UAE Centennial Plan 2071,” noted Sheikh Hamdan.

“The external trade sector’s distinctive growth in 2020 will boost the implementation of Dubai’s five-year plan to expand its external trade to AED2 trillion, consolidating the emirate’s position as a leading regional and global trade and investment hib. Dubai’s new international trade map will see an expansion in air and sea navigation routes, with 200 new cities set to be added to the emirate’s existing network of 400 cities, His Highness added. The Crown Prince further said Dubai will continue its efforts to generate new practical and creative solutions to tide over challenges and turn them into new opportunities.

Sultan bin Sulayem, DP World Group Chairman & CEO and Chairman of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation said, “Dubai’s external trade sector impressively overcame the impact of a global trade downturn in 2020. With the gradual opening of borders, Dubai’s trade volumes started recovering and growing quickly in the second half of 2020. In the third quarter, Dubai’s trade surged 34% compared to Q2, and in Q4, trade grew by 7% to AED326 billion compared to Q3.

“Trade volumes in the second half of 2020 expanded by 6% compared to the corresponding period in 2019. Overall, 100 million tonnes of goods were traded in 2020, which reflects the rapid recovery of this sector. This rebound is now spurring greater growth in 2021. The resumption of trade with Qatar, the start of trade engagement with Israel, the positive spin-offs from hosting EXPO 2020 and the launch of the Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan will all contribute to accelerating the emirate’s growth momentum.”

Bin Sulayem added, “To develop the external trade sector and play a greater role in maintaining Dubai’s leading position in global trade, the Dubai Chamber has been restructured by creating three new chambers of commerce. The new chambers will enhance support for the trade sector by creating new solutions for the needs of investors and companies as part of a strategy to grow the emirate’s global trade in line with the vision of Dubai’s leadership for the next 50 years.”

The DP World Group Chairman & CEO and Chairman of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation said all government departments and organisations will work in tandem to achieve the goal of boosting Dubai’s external trade and helping the emirate continue its pivotal role in facilitating global trade and tourism.

“Dubai Customs has launched its five-year strategy for the period 2021-2026, which outlines nine goals and four main objectives in developing customs operations. Dubai Customs received the Agile Organization Certification from the American Business Agility Institute (BAI), thereby becoming the first agile government organisation in the world. As part of enhancing cooperation with export funding entities, Dubai Customs signed an MoU with Etihad Export Credit Insurance Company (ECI) to facilitate greater export performance in the emirate. Meanwhile, the Department is set to host the 5th WCO Global AEO Conference in cooperation with the Federal Customs Authority and the World Customs Organisation in May in Dubai.”

Dubai’s direct trade in 2020 totalled AED711 billion, while trade through free zones reached AED464 billion and customs warehouse trade weighed in at AED7 billion. Airborne trade accounted for AED559 billion. Sea trade reached AED421 billion while land trade touched AED203 billion.

China maintained its position as Dubai’s largest trading partner in 2020 with AED142 billion worth of trade. India came in second with AED89 billion, followed by the USA in third place with AED61 billion. Saudi Arabia continued to be Dubai’s largest Gulf and Arab trade partner and its fourth largest global trade partner with AED54 billion worth of trade, followed by Iraq in the fifth place with AED41 billion.

Gold topped the list of commodities in Dubai’s 2020 external trade at AED213 billion, followed by telecoms at AED153 billion. Diamonds came third with AED64 billion, followed by petroleum oils with AED57 billion and jewellery with AED47 billion.

 

Source: Emirates News Agency

UAE announces 1,931 new COVID-19 cases, 1,833 recoveries, 3 deaths in last 24 hours

ABU DHABI, The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) announced that it conducted 237,130 additional COVID-19 tests over the past 24 hours, using state-of-the-art medical testing equipment.

In a statement, the Ministry stressed its aim to continue expanding the scope of testing nationwide to facilitate the early detection of coronavirus cases and carry out the necessary treatment. As part of its intensified testing campaign, MoHAP announced 1,931 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total number of recorded cases in the UAE to 481,937.

According to the Ministry, the infected individuals are from various nationalities, are in a stable condition, and receiving the necessary care.

MoHAP also announced 3 deaths due to COVID-19 complications, bringing the total number of deaths in the country to 1,529.

The Ministry expressed its sincere condolences to the family of the deceased and wished COVID-19 patients a speedy and full recovery. It called on all members of the society to cooperate with health authorities, adhere to the instructions and physical distance to ensure the health and safety of all.

MoHAP also noted that an additional 1,833 individuals had fully recovered from COVID-19, bringing the total number of recoveries to 466,804.

 

Source: Emirates News Agency

UAE announces 1,875 new COVID-19 cases, 1,939 recoveries, 3 deaths in last 24 hours

ABU DHABI, The Ministry of Health and Prevention, MoHAP, announced that it conducted 247,634 additional COVID-19 tests over the past 24 hours, using state-of-the-art medical testing equipment.

In a statement, the Ministry stressed its aim to continue expanding the scope of testing nationwide to facilitate the early detection of coronavirus cases and carry out the necessary treatment. As part of its intensified testing campaign, MoHAP announced 1,875 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total number of recorded cases in the UAE to 480,006.

According to the Ministry, the infected individuals are from various nationalities, are in a stable condition, and receiving the necessary care.

MoHAP also announced 3 deaths due to COVID-19 complications, bringing the total number of deaths in the country to 1,526.

The Ministry expressed its sincere condolences to the family of the deceased and wished COVID-19 patients a speedy and full recovery. It called on all members of the society to cooperate with health authorities, adhere to the instructions and physical distance to ensure the health and safety of all.

MoHAP also noted that an additional 1,939 individuals had fully recovered from COVID-19, bringing the total number of recoveries to 464,971.

 

Source: Emirates News Agency

OPEC daily basket price stood at $61.22 a barrel Thursday

VIENNA, The price of OPEC basket of thirteen crudes stood at $61.22 a barrel on Thursday, 8th April,2021, compared with $60.68 the previous day, according to OPEC Secretariat calculations.

The OPEC Reference Basket of Crudes (ORB) is made up of the following: Saharan Blend (Algeria), Girassol (Angola), Djeno (Congo), Zafiro (Equatorial Guinea), Rabi Light (Gabon), Iran Heavy (Iran), Basra Light (Iraq), Kuwait Export (Kuwait), Es Sider (Libya), Bonny Light (Nigeria), Arab Light (Saudi Arabia), Murban (UAE) and Merey (Venezuela).

 

Source: Emirates News Agency

33,972 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine administered during past 24 hours: MoHAP

ABU DHABI, The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) has announced that 33,972 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine were given in the past 24 hours.

The total number of doses provided up to today stands at 8,923,543 with a rate of vaccine distribution of 90.22 doses per 100 people.

This is in line with the Ministry’s plan to provide the COVID-19 vaccine to all members of society and efforts to reach acquired immunity resulting from the vaccination, which will help reduce the number of cases and control the COVID-19 virus.

 

Source: Emirates News Agency