The Dubai Government have announced that a sort of ‘tourist tax’ will be introduced later this year to help fund Expo 2020 projects.

The ‘Tourism Dirham’ will range from Dhs7-20 and will be applied to any guests staying in hotels, hotel apartments, guesthouse and holiday homes from April, and is based on a per room/per night basis.

In a statement, the Department of Tourism and Commerce said: “The introduction of the Tourism Dirham will support Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing, helping to ensure our continued competitiveness on the global stage which will be reflected positively on the growth of two of our economic pillars – trade and tourism.”

Dubai is bidding to raise some Dhs32 billion in order to put on Expo 2020, four-fifths of which is on new projects that include a crocodile park, safari park, models of world monuments, traditional fish market, wetlands museum and butterfly garden.

Expo is expected to attracted more than 20million visitors to the Emirate between October 2020 and April 2021, bringing billions in spending and investment. 
According to early figures quoted in the National, ‘the number of hotels across is expected to double by the time the it begins, with the number of hotel rooms set to rise from 80,000 to between 140,000 and 160,000.’
A spokesman for the Hotel Development Resources was also quoted in the National, saying:

“We’ve been thinking about how Dubai is going to fund the investment needed for infrastructure projects, and it is understandable that this is part of the whole drive to get the required investment.

“People are notoriously averse to any extra charge, no matter how small, so it is without a doubt there will be some resistance to it. But it also depends on how it is packaged since it is a small amount.

“In fairness, you are talking about a large number of tourists and, as that number grows it is an equitable way to raise some amount of revenue.”