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May 5, 2014
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Middle East : Dubai eases path for hotel construction ahead of Expo 2020


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Reforms are being introduced that will speed the delivery of new hotels in Dubai ahead of Expo 2020, which is set to attract 25 million visitors to the emirate. Cutting the pre-approval process by two-thirds – from six months to two – for private developers is just one of the measures confirmed in a statement by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
Fees levied for “change of use of land” for new hotels have also been scrapped while, for three- and four-star hotels, there will be an exemption to the 10 percent Dubai Municipality fee to those open and operational before June 2017. Government land will also be allocated for new developments. 
The approval process for new hotels will now be handled by the Dubai Municipality, which will create what it describes as “a one-stop shop for all sector approvals”. The department will help the municipality to “reduce red tape for businesses and ensure the new reduced approval time frames are met”.
Of the 25 million visitors expected to arrive between October 2020 and April 2021, some 17.5 million will come from abroad. Expo has helped boost hotel construction throughout the emirate with more than 1,000 new rooms delivered in the last three months of 2013, according to data from property consultants Jones Lang LaSalle. The city’s current development projects include a Dubai cultural district (pictured below), which is set to include two ‘art’ hotels


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