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A senior executive at Dubai’s Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing (DTCM), has said that Dubai is set to add 20,000-35,000 mid-market keys by 2020.Speaking at Hotel Show’s Vision Conference, Yusuf Lootah, executive director tourism development & investments said: “Currently, we stand at 89,000 keys in the market, and we are looking to go up to 140,000-150,0000 keys by 2020. So the additional 60,000 keys will comprise of different asset classes, including hotel apartments.“We are looking at around 20,000-35,000 keys of the additional new keys to be mid-market. So to have a big chunk in the mid-market shows Dubai’s drive towards catering to the different budgets,” he said in comments published by Hotelier Middle East. Lootah also added that the DTCM has received 51 new applications for mid-market properties since it introduced incentive schemes for the segment, which includes the waiver of the municipality fees on the hotel for the first few years of operation. Explaining the department’s focus on the mid-market, Lootah said: “It starts with the vision of Dubai and where Dubai wants to be in the next six to 10 years. One of the visions of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum – who is the driving force behind the development of Dubai – is for us to become the number one destination for the family demographic. So we have to invest in offerings that can cater to different budgets and for different classes.” “For this, we would look towards the private sector to focus and plan accordingly and cooperate strongly with Dubai Tourism to ensure that they plan it right, to time it right, and we are here to assist the private sector at the end of the day,” he added. In May, it was reported that Dubai Inn, a new economy hotel brand created by a joint venture of Emaar Properties and Meraas Holding, will roll out its first phase of hotels in prime locations in the city this year.Work on the first property will start shortly in the Zabeel area. The flagship project is scheduled for completion in 2015. Under the JV agreement, an additional four properties will be added to the portfolio to collectively supply over 1,750 new hotel rooms and serviced residences to the hospitality sector.The launch of Dubai Inn complements the Dubai Tourism Vision 2020 announced by Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai, to build a robust hospitality infrastructure and host over 20 million visitors by the turn of the decade.

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