Hotels overbooked in the first two weeks of DSF



More than two weeks into the Dubai Shopping Festival and the city’s hotels are almost overbooked, exhibiting a huge interest being generated amongst the visitors during the festive month. The tempting hotel packages and deals have added to the rush.

While Moevenpick Hotels and Resorts recorded an average occupancy of 70 per cent in the first two weeks of DSF for its Ibn Battuta Gate Hotel property, the Accor group’s Pullman Dubai Mall of the Emirates hotel started the DSF period with 50 per cent occupancy levels, which has gradually been on an increase. Emaar Hospitality Group’s five-star premium hotel brand, The Address Hotels and Resorts too recorded robust occupancies.

Attributing a majority of the credit to DSF, Leonard Theng, Director of Sales & Marketing at Pullman Dubai Mall of the Emirates, said: “In the first couple of weeks of the DSF, we managed to increase our occupancy levels by around 30 per cent. And we are projecting an average of 70 per cent occupancies for the remaining days of DSF.” He added that the hotel achieved 80 to 100 per cent occupancies in the first week of February alone.

The hotel, which opened doors in September last year, has been witnessing a good mix of guests from Europe and the GCC, according to Theng. “Being connected to the Mall of the Emirates, our ideal location gives us a huge opportunity to be the preferred hotel for holiday shoppers,” he pointed out.

According to The Address Hotels and Resorts spokesperson, all five properties of The Address Hotels and Resorts in Dubai – The Address Downtown Dubai, The Address Dubai Mall, The Address Dubai Marina, The Address Montgomerie Dubai and The Palace – The Old Town – recorded robust occupancy levels during the first two weeks of DSF.

“With a growth in tourist arrivals from across the GCC region, the Indian Subcontinent and China, occupancy levels continue to be strong. These visitors complement our traditional feeder markets of Europe and the wider MENA region,” said the spokesperson, adding that DSF, as one of the world’s leading shopping and entertainment extravaganzas, has played a “key role in stimulating the hospitality sector”.

Meanwhile, the Ibn Battuta Gate Hotel (operated by Moevenpick Hotels & Resorts), which opened doors in October 2010, recorded an average occupancy of 70 per cent for the first two weeks of DSF.

Jan Kaiser, General Manager, Ibn Battuta Gate Hotel, said: “Since we have not yet been in operation for a whole year, we cannot compare the occupancy to the previous year. But so far for this year DSF has been very successful for us in terms of occupancy and traffic that the hotel has got, especially being adjacent to Ibn Battuta Mall which has its advantages for our shopper guests.”

He added that the hotel’s top nationality mix so far during the DSF period has been from the GCC, China, UK, Germany, Iran and the UAE. “Our major markets like China, Saudi Arabia and Iran are big shoppers and enjoy shopping during DSF where they can get the best deals that cannot be availed at any other time of the year,” said Kaiser.

The hotel has been offering its guests great value for money with competitive room rates and restaurant promotions where they can enjoy the hotel as a full celebration destination during DSF.
Highlighting another aspect of DSF, Kaiser said that since the festival takes place around the same time as Chinese New Year, most Chinese people travel during their holiday period.

As a result, over 1,000 rooms at the Ibn Battuta Gate Hotel currently have been booked by Chinese tourists alone. “These guests take advantage of the fact that we are adjacent to a shopping mall and they can avail the great shopping deals during DSF,” Kaiser pointed out.

The Dubai Events and Promotions Establishment, an agency of Dubai Department of Economic Development and organizers of Dubai Shopping Festival, has partnered with over 80 four and five-star hotels including beach hotels and resorts for DSF 2011.


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