New figures indicate tourism made a substantial contribution to the growth of Dubai’s economy in 2011.

Tourists helped Dubai’s economy expand 3.4 per cent in 2011, new figures from the emirate’s statistics office show.

According to the Dubai Statistics Center, the economy grew to AED 306.2 billion (£53.7 billion) last year, with a 14.7 per cent increase in the hotel and tourism sector adding AED 12.3 billion in value to the wider economy.

Guest rates at the 387 hotels and 21.015 apartment hotels rose by ten per cent year-on-year in 2011, with the total number of hotel guests reaching 7.263 million for the 12-month period.

Average occupation for both hotels and apartment hotels stood at 74 per cent and figures for early 2012 indicate visitors rates are on the rise again.

According to Gulf News, the number of passengers passing through Dubai International Airport during the first quarter of 2012 stood at 18.8 million, a 14 per cent jump compared to the same period in 2011.

Written by Nicholas Scott

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