“Dubai has mastered the art of the comeback”. That was the verdict of experts at the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference (AHIC) as HE Helal Al Marri expanded on Dubai’s Vision 2020 plans, which he stated was both “possible and achievable.”
Following the statement that Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) aims to triple tourism’s economic contribution to Dubai by 2020, Helal Al Marri, director general of Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) and director general of Dubai Department of Tourism and Marketing (DTCM), confirmed that ‘family tourism’ and the region’s burgeoning events calendar will be a prime focus in the strategy.
“The same questions were asked about whether these kinds of plans were achievable eight years ago and look how far we have come,” he commented.
“Dubai’s ruler sees Dubai as number one in the world and tourism, especially family tourism, which he has us focusing on are areas that will grow. If we’re looking at doubling in size it is not a growth rate above what we are already achieving today so we have every confidence in our aims.”
Al Marri said the government would look at growth holistically and organically leading up to 2020. The plans for expansion will focus on enhancing the existing, underling tourism offer – in particular events, which is seen as a “powerful tool” for growth.
“If you look back in time when I started at the DWTC, we had a limited number of travellers coming into Dubai for conferences. Now business travel and the MICE industry represent a significant proportion of overall travel to Dubai.
“We see the event’s calendar we’ve created here including the World Cup, the tennis, our two golf tournaments and the many musical and theatrical events we have generating great interest.”
Consequently, Dubai’s government would be tweaking its events calendar in line with seasonal travel from its source markets.
Families will also be a focus according to the director general. As much of Dubai’s repeat business reportably comes from the family market, the segment will drive improvements to infrastructure and new developments such as theme parks.
“This type of traveller has the ability to come here more and stay longer as well,” Al Marri said.