Dubai on the Future of Tourism

Dubai on the Future of Tourism

The Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, Dubai Tourism, hosted a virtual forum for stakeholders and partners to share its industry outlook ahead of the city’s reopening to international tourists on 7th July. The forum provided a first-hand insight into current and post-pandemic strategies that will help accelerate tourism momentum and position Dubai as a safe global destination.

The online forum is part of Dubai Tourism’s efforts to further enhance collaboration with stakeholders through regular top-level industry engagements, which are crucial to accelerate the revival process, highlight the city’s world class health and safety standards, and encourage travellers to make Dubai a must-visit destination.

Presided by Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General, Dubai Tourism, the forum was attended by nearly 2000 key executives from the aviation, travel and hospitality sectors and across tourism touchpoints.

The forum discussed plans for reopening the city to foreign tourists, the local and global impact of the pandemic, future industry trends, global marketing initiatives, business events in Dubai, domestic tourism, and Dubai’s summer events that form part of its annual Retail Calendar.

Helal Almarri, commented: “Under the visionary leadership of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and based on the follow up by H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, a robust strategy was developed to manage the pandemic with the key priority being to safeguard the health and wellbeing of citizens, residents and guests. Now, as we get nearer to reopening the city to tourists, we are encouraged by the success of the strong procedures deployed across sectors that have reinforced Dubai’s commitment to the health and safety of visitors when they start arriving from 7th July, a development that will be a turning point in the tourism sector’s road to recovery.” “The effective management of COVID-19, our three-phase programme to revive the sector and the citywide reopening of tourism facilities including hotels and airports, as well as the resumption of flights by our leading carriers are testament to the significant efforts made to welcome tourists back to Dubai. However, the city could not have made such positive strides without the tireless efforts of our public health authorities and the continuous cooperation between government entities and our stakeholders that supported the resumption of activity in various sectors without compromising on health and safety protocols,” Almarri added.

The forum highlighted the preventive measures taken so far against COVID-19 that have further elevated the UAE’s standing as one of the world’s safest countries. The UAE is globally ranked No.3 in testing per million of population. It was also ranked No.3 in an international survey that assessed satisfaction with governments’ response to the pandemic.

Dubai’s tourism sector remains optimistic due to positive factors and indicators including the gradual reopening of borders; the lifting of travel restrictions in other countries; and the resumption of passenger flights by our key partners Emirates, which will operate flights to over 50 cities this month, and flydubai, which has resumed services to several destinations. Dubai remains top of mind for travellers and ranks high in global internet search rankings for tourist destinations. The city hopes to further consolidate its position by forging links with more countries that will be opening up over the course of the summer.

The stakeholders were also briefed on the extensive marketing and outreach programmes launched by Dubai Tourism in key international markets. These campaigns seek to ensure the city continues to be front of mind among travellers so that they choose to visit Dubai when it is safe to travel. Programmes launched by Dubai Tourism include a series of digital activations #Till We Meet Again and the recently launched #We Will See You Soon campaign. Dubai Tourism is also rolling out initiatives with social media and technology partners to sustain interest in Dubai as the destination of choice. These include a Discover Dubai VR Hub, a collaboration with Google that provides prospective travellers the opportunity to obtain a cardboard headset to view 360-degree videos of Dubai via their mobile phones. The Discover Dubai VR Hub also allows travellers to explore select attractions in Dubai from every angle through the Google Street View feature.

Over 350 influencers were also deployed to take the Dubai story in 14 different languages to a global audience spanning 18 markets, which yielded over 21 million engagements across multiple social media platforms. The marketing activities are designed to convey positive messages about travel in today’s environment, Dubai’s preparedness, high standards of quality and safety, the unique experiences that await visitors and also address traveller concerns across every touchpoint in their journey.

Another topic that was widely discussed was the in-city activations and campaigns, particularly those that benefit the retail and hospitality sectors during the summer period such as the Dubai Summer Surprises, which kicks off on 9th July. It was pointed out that the retail sector is gearing to provide exciting new experiences to residents and visitors. With malls now allowed to operate at 100 per cent capacity with no age limitations on visitors, and more residents expected to spend their summer vacation in Dubai, footfall at malls is set to increase.

The virtual gathering also discussed the economic stimulus package to ensure business continuity and sustainability, as well as detailed procedures for welcoming tourists to Dubai. It was emphasised that tourists must present on arrival at Dubai airports a valid COVID-19 negative certificate based on a PCR test they have done four days prior to travel or undergo testing on arrival in Dubai.

At the end of the forum, Almarri answered a wide range of questions related to anti-COVID-19 measures, the process that tourists must follow on arrival in Dubai, testing procedures, quarantine measures, reopening of other commercial activities, city excursions, weddings and business events.

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S. Jack Heffernan Ph.D. Funds Manager at HEFFX holds a Ph.D. in Economics and brings with him over 25 years of trading experience in Asia and hands on experience in Venture Capital, he has been involved in several start ups that have seen market capitalization over $500m and 1 that reach a peak market cap of $15b. He has managed and overseen start ups in Mining, Shipping, Technology and Financial Services.

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