Dubai could soon offer a template for success for other vacation ownership destinations, according to David Clifton, Managing Director,
Europe, Middle East & Africa, Interval International, talking on the opening day of the fourth annual Vacation Ownership Investment
Conference - VOIC 2008, taking place this week at Arabian Court, One&Only Royal Mirage, Dubai,
"We chose Dubai as the host city for VOIC 2008 for a number of good reasons. Dubai is destined to be one of three super cities for vacation
ownership in the world. Dubai is rapidly becoming a city like no other; with key strategic initiatives set to continue to create a tourism
destination that is a global prototype for other cities to follow," Clifton said in his opening speech at the industry conference.
Over 15 million annual tourists are expected
in Dubai by 2015 with 20% expected to stay in villas or apartments rather than hotels.
Clifton cited developments such as Dubailand and Bawadi as being instrumental in the future success of vacation ownership in the emirate.
"Dubai will become the tourism and vacation ownership capital of the world in the years to come, as the numerous incredible projects, such
as Dubailand, Bawadi and those by Emaar and Nakheel, continue to unfold before our eyes," he said.
Clifton also said that the emirate's carefully crafted tourism promotion has helped to create a brand easily recognisable across the globe.
"Dubai's goal is to be the number one tourism destination in the world. Tens of million of tourists from all over the world will come here for a
variety of holiday and leisure experiences," Clifton said.
He also remarked that the emirate's vacation ownership market could even oust Florida in the USA from its number one position as the
global leader in timeshare sales.
"People want to come here and experience what Dubai has to offer. Surpassing established tourism destinations like Florida is a mammoth
task; but if any city can do it Dubai can," Clifton remarked.
Several other regional destinations have been tipped for vacation ownership growth at the conference.
"Egypt and Lebanon are well seasoned vacation ownership destinations. Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Qatar and Jordan are the next
destinations to see growth in the vacation ownership industry, and we are starting to see that happen today," said Clifton.
Talking of the future growth expected from Egypt, Sherif Khalil, Regional Manager, Middle East & North Africa, Interval International,
said, "Egypt continues to see increased demand. The country has timeshare regulations in place, positive government backing, and offers low
investment costs, which is attracting international players like Emaar and
Egypt's Red Sea coastal resorts already have a number of Interval International affiliated resorts.
According to a recent Global Futures & Foresight (GFF) survey, 170 million tourists will visit the region by 2020. Investment in the next 12
years is expected to reach US$3.6 trillion, with 900 new hotels, offering 750,000 rooms, set to come online by 2020. GFF also reported that
airport capacity will see an additional 320 million passengers by 2012.
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