Tourism expert upbeat on UAE hotel projects and tourist inflow during 2010

Dubai, 14th July 2010: A regional tourism expert has urged investors in the hotel industry to look at local hotel management companies as an alternative to international chains.

According to Youssef E. Jammal, Managing Director, B6 Catering, the local companies have now become major rivals to their international peers because of competent human resources and pertinent expertise, against global players who often lack local knowledge.

The UAE hotel management companies, in spite of being young, have achieved remarkable success, Jammal said. This is reflected in their global perspective as well as high levels of luxurious services that are on par with those of the world’s finest hotels. He said these companies were competing with international groups not only in the UAE but also in their home countries in Europe and the United States.

Jammal added: “Hotel industry in the Gulf is a magnet for international and regional investors despite global financial crisis. International companies are increasing the number of rooms and more hotel properties are still set to open in 2010.

Jammal, who runs the B6 Catering specializing in the hospitality industry, said that investors should think analytically when they select a hotel management company in terms of the capability of these companies, their record in managing hotels with cost-efficiency rather than go by big names.

The hotel industry in Dubai is a great adapter to market demand. Investment groups have started to shift their sights from real estate to hotels which offer higher and safer ROI taking into consideration that UAE is advanced in its infrastructure and hospitality services.

Jammal said new comers from the Arab region are joining the workforce of the hotel industry in Dubai as they are trilingual with reasonably cost effective salaries.

Jammal emphasized that the Gulf is more dependent now on internal tourism within the GCC. He said that the UAE continues to promote domestic tourism within the emirates by attracting citizens and residents to spend the weekends within the Emirates as well as Gulf tourists by encouraging hotels to provide incentive programs to them.

Jammal added that the domestic tourism and Gulf tourism, in addition to tourism from countries such as India and China, are boosting occupancy rates of hotels this year in the UAE