Emirates airline, one of the fastest growing global carriers, is “ideally positioned to carry the majority of global visitors to Dubai” as envisioned in ambitious tourism roadmap, Shaikh Majid Al Mualla, Senior Vice-President of Commercial Operations GCC, Middle East and Iran at Emirates Airline, said.

Welcoming the Dubai New Tourism Vision 2020, Shaikh Majid said he was confident that Dubai has what it takes to achieve the vision. “We would like to express our commitment to continue supporting the vision to achieve this ambitious goal under the leadership of Shaikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, CEO and President of The Emirates Group. We will continue to invest in growing our fleet and network to link Dubai with the capitals and major cities around the world.”

He said Emirates Airline operates a fleet of 200 airplanes and we have orders of another 200 planes will be delivered in the next five years, and our flights links Dubai with 130 cities in 77 countries across the six continents of the world. We have welcomed on board our flights more than 34 million passengers in 2012, with the continued growth in our fleet and our network we will achieve an annual growth of 10-15 per cent in the number of passengers in this decade.

Shaikh Majid said Dubai today is a leading financial, commercial, sporting and aviation hub on a regional and global level, this had contributed to make Dubai a prime tourism destination that attracts visitors from across the world. “The city continues to invest in its tourist attractions for leisure, shopping, sports and of course, business which means welcoming more and more visitors and we are confident that we will be able to cater to that demand in association with the more than 150 global airlines who operates from the Dubai International Airport, we at Emirates are ideally positioned to carry the majority of global visitors to Dubai.”

Mohamed Alabbar, Chairman of the Dubai Events Council, said Dubai Tourism Vision 2020 is a natural fit to the ambitious development that the city witnesses today and will further drive the growth of the economy. “Dubai’s impressive growth as a global tourism and business hub is the result of the concerted approach by the government and private sector to offer our guests the complete destination experience,” said Alabbar.

“Tourism is a key contributor to our economy, both benefiting from as well as contributing to a host of sectors including trade, aviation, hospitality and retail.

“Today, the event-days hosted by Dubai are on par with that of global cities. Our flagship campaigns such as Dubai Shopping Festival, Summer is Dubai and Eid in Dubai as well as year-round exhibitions, cultural, sports and business events and global spectacles such as the New Year’s Eve Gala, catalyse the tourism and retail sector, attracting business and leisure guests from all over the world.

“We are taking the events sector to the next level, in line with the Vision 2020, with year-round, multi-day activities, not only based in the heart of the city, but across the emirate, offering novel experiences to our visitors to drive both volume and repeat tourism arrivals,” said Alabbar.

Guido de Wilde, Senior Vice-President, Regional Director, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Middle East, said Dubai epitomised the changing face of travel. “The city is situated within eight hours from two-thirds of the world’s population and lies at a global crossroads, at the centre of new travel patterns from China to Africa, from Southeast Asia to Europe. It is a dynamic gateway that links the developed and rapidly growing economies, making it an extremely attractive destination for travellers.

“Today, Dubai has evolved as an international business and leisure hub under the vision of its leaders, the efforts of DTCM and growth of Emirates airlines. Host to some of the world’s biggest events, the city has a great dynamic that will only solidify its position as a leading travel destination.”

“Starwood is committed to the growth of Dubai, where our company has more hotels than in any other city in the world outside New York. With 14 hotels in Dubai and six under development, we are well positioned to meet the demand for increased travel into the city.”

Pascal Duchauffour, Area Vice-President, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, said the success of The Ritz-Carlton hotels in Dubai would not have been possible without the support from the government departments driving the tourism efforts.

“The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company has just celebrated our 15th anniversary in Dubai. The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai, was one of the first luxury resorts on the now famous Jumeirah Beach. The resort was the cornerstone of the development of the luxury hotel market in Dubai and continues to support the development of Dubai as a world class destination with the newly launched room inventory on the beach and the opening of The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai International Financial Centre two years ago.”

issacjohn@khaleejtimes.com ___

Photo Credit: An Emirates Boeing 777-200LR takes off from LAX en route to Dubai. flickr.com