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Throughout the past year, individuals, businesses and nations alike have been forced to manage social, medical and economic upheaval. Sectors such as tourism and hospitality were hit particularly hard by the pandemic, as international travel ground to a near halt. The United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) hospitality sector—particularly in Dubai and Abu Dhabi— was significantly impacted, when compared with pre-pandemic levels.

Despite a turbulent year, the country has, however, managed to record the second highest occupancy rate globally in 2020 (54.7%), behind China. This, despite strong outbound travel restrictions among many of the UAE’s main source markets.

The nation’s tourism landscape has undergone a significant shift, with domestic travel far exceeding international visits and luxury, beach and desert resorts outperforming business hotels. Dubai’s popularity as a staycation destination has been key in supporting the emirate’s hospitality sector.

The industry has also pivoted to meet customer demands regarding safety and hygiene, while striving to manage operating costs. This has been accomplished using a variety of technological solutions, including online check-in, robotic process automation and chatbots.

Our 2021 Dubai hospitality report explores how Covid-19 has impacted in-country travel and visitors’ experiences in Dubai. Findings include insight from both UAE-based consumers and industry owners/operators.

We hope you find this report informative. If you would like to discuss the findings in greater detail, please feel free to contact us.

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