Of course the recent temporary closure for "security reasons" of the US Consulate in Dubai isn't helping matters, and it's already understood that a decline in corporate travel for 2009 will mean major struggles as the year progresses. It does seem, however, that Dubai has been overdue to take a punch in the gut. Anwar Abu Monassar, General Manager of a Dubai-based tour operator, sums up the situation best:
In August, Dubai's rates were the highest in the world. I am not happy when I see rates that are so high. You are limiting yourself. In just ten years hotel rates went from $50 a night to $1,500 per night. Today we have so much supply, but four months ago we were all crying because there was no supply. I think the market will find a better balance when all of the new hotel projects being built are open.
Let's not even get into the debacle that is Dubailand, the amusement park/everything world plagued by delays from the get-go. They've been working on that thing and it's 6,500-room hotel--which will be the largest in the world--since 2003, with no end in sight. Let's just hope that they don't sink their newly-acquired QEII due to budget constraints.
· Dubai Hotels Seeks to Lure Guests With Discounts [AME Info]
· Global Woes Hit Dubai's Fragile Economy [BBC News]
· US Consulate in Dubai Closes for Security Reasons [Reuters]
· Dubai Travel coverage [Jaunted]