Category Archives: Govt

DTCM shares outlook with industry partners and stakeholders

Dubai Tourism DG addresses the City Briefing audience

In its first biannual city briefing event of the year, Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) highlighted its strategic framework, activities and campaigns in line with the Tourism Vision for 2020. Hosted for hotel establishments, destination management companies, event organisers, tourism attractions and government departments, the event was held at the Conrad Dubai with approximately 1,000 attendees. Keynote speeches at the latest briefing led by His Excellency Helal Saeed Almarri, Director-General, Dubai Tourism, provided valuable insights into the growth drivers behind Dubai’s record year-to-date international visitation, providing stakeholders with an in-depth analysis of the city’s visitor demographics and visitor satisfaction results from the annual Dubai Visitor Survey. Key successes and learnings from international marketing and business campaigns were also discussed. In addition, these keynotes covered the significance of Dubai’s robust calendar of retail and festival events spearheaded by Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE), and Dubai College of Tourism’s first-of-its-kind multi-disciplinary educational platform for the region. Both of these are key elements of the future outlook for tourism in Dubai and set to transform the city’s fast-evolving industry and the overall visitor experience. Another keynote was delivered by Manal Al Bayat, Senior Vice President – Business Development and Integration at Expo 2020 Dubai, who provided crucial insights into what can be expected in the lead up to the event and the legacy it will leave behind.

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Abu Dhabi records 4.9% growth in hotel guests during the first five months of 2018

Abu Dhabi records 4.9% growth in hotel guests during the first five months of 2018 1

The number of hotel guests staying in Abu Dhabi increased by 4.9 per cent during the first five months of 2018 compared to the same period last year. According to statistics from the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), 162 hotels, resorts and hotel apartments offering 31,236 rooms across the emirate welcomed 2,073,586 guests during January to May. The occupancy rate has averaged 75 per cent during the same period, with a 1.4 per cent increase, while the average length of stay was 2.7 nights, an increase of 2.4 per cent compared to the same period in 2017, with China topping the number of visitors, recording 192,500 visitors, an increase of 19.9 per cent. India came in second with 166,700 guests and a 22.2 per cent increase, followed by the UK with 119,900 amounting to a 12.7 per cent increase, the United States with 82,300 guests and a 25.7 per cent increase, and Germany with 71,300 guests at a 20 per cent increase. HE Saif Saeed Ghobash, Undersecretary, DCT Abu Dhabi, said, “These results demonstrate steady growth and prove Abu Dhabi’s ability to realise its strategic goals of positioning the emirate as a leading global destination through forward-looking marketing and promotional campaigns that seek to sustain growth.” While the Abu Dhabi Summer Season will run until August 18, the second half of 2018 will witness prominent events such as the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and Abu Dhabi Art in November, and the Abu Dhabi Food Festival in December.

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AITO’s annual conference to be held in Ras Al Khaimah from November 22-25

2. Thomas Cook to open in Ras Al Khaimah

The UK’s Association of Independent Tour Operators (AITO) annual conference is set to be held in Ras Al Khaimah from November 22-25, 2018. Derek Moore, Chairman, AITO comments, “We’re thrilled to have been invited by the Ras Al Khaimah Tourist Development Authority (RAKTDA). It is particularly exciting for AITO members to visit such a fascinating destination that is on the cusp of change in terms of tourism. We are also pleased to be flying with Emirates to the conference – its vast network of airports in the UK will make travel to Ras Al Khaimah so convenient for our members who are spread across the country.” Gemma Antrobus, Chair, AITO Specialist Travel Agents, said, “This is a destination with enormous potential for AITO Specialist Travel Agents who are always on the look-out for something different. Ras Al Khaimah offers the perfect balance of beach, activity, history and culture, providing the variety that many of our discerning clients seek and that AITO agents enjoy selling!”

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Abu Dhabi ranks top in the Middle East in ‘Smart City’ chart

Abu Dhabi Tops Ranking of Smart Cities in the Middle East

Abu Dhabi has been ranked top in a list of cities in Africa and the Middle East in the McKinsey Global Institute’s study ‘Smart Cities: Digital Solutions for a More Livable Future.’ With a rating of 18.4, Abu Dhabi ranked first in the region ahead of Dubai, which was placed second with a rating of 17.3. Covering 50 international cities, the study looked at how cities all over the world use technology to increase the quality of life across a wide range of criteria, including healthcare, security, mobility, economic development and housing. HE Saif Saeed Ghobash, Undersecretary of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) said, “In today’s digital age, metropolitan cities in the world over are delivering creative ways in which data is used to reinvent the way their city is perceived, explored, interacted with and how services are delivered. Abu Dhabi ranking number one in the study is testimony to our ongoing efforts to establish the emirate as both a destination of distinction and a highly modern location in which international communities want to work, live and do business.”

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First edition of Sharjah Summer Festival to kick off from July 11

HE Khalid Jasim Midfa

Following the success of the Sharjah Summer Campaign last year, the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) has announced the details of the first edition of the Sharjah Summer Festival. Set to kick-start on July 11, 2018, the festival will further boost SCTDA’s ongoing efforts to strengthen the tourism sector as part of the government’s bid to attract 10 million visitors to the emirate’s shores by 2021. Organised by SCTDA in cooperation with entities from the government and private sector, the festival will run a series of entertainment and cultural activities to promote local tourism and highlight the emirate’s cultural and tourist attractions and diversified recreational facilities during the summer season. In addition, the festival seeks to attract residents and visitors through its creative marketing campaigns and various promotions to boost Sharjah’s world-class status as one of the great destinations for family holidays. H E Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman, SCTDA said, “The festival will promote Sharjah’s tourism, cultural and amusing events, revitalise several tourism campaigns; and diversify its leisure activities to attract international visitors. It is also part of our strategy to underline our attractions to the GCC market which remains one of our largest source markets.” According to Midfa, the event is going to play a major role in transforming Sharjah into an important center of culture, heritage and arts in the region.

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Dubai Summer Surprises to be held from June 22 to August 4

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Dubai’s annual citywide summer celebration, Dubai Summer Surprises (DSS) is set to return to the city from June 22-August 4, 2018, offering a six-week extravaganza of sales, retail experiences and events. Organised by the Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE), an agency of the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism), the 21st edition of the popular summer event will feature a line-up of spectacular sales, retail experiences, chances to win and weekly performances to keep the family entertained this summer. Ahmed Al Khaja, CEO, DFRE said, “Dubai Summer Surprises is one of the most popular events on Dubai tourism’s retail calendar, and we are excited to announce this year’s dates. Together with our partners across the emirate, we are putting the final touches to a jam-packed, six-week schedule of sales, retail promotions and events that we know will make Dubai the ultimate summer destination.  We encourage residents to stick around for the summer and experience the full line-up of not-to-be-missed surprises we have in-store!” The highlights of this year’s DSS include a mega Opening Day 12 Hour Sale, a daily Deal of the Day (DOTD) offer, weekly Weekend Destination surprises and the Final Weekend Sale.

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Dubai Tourism, Fliggy sign MoU to boost Chinese tourist numbers

Issam Kazim, CEO of DCTCM and Jerry Hu, VP of Fliggy and Alibaba Group at the signing of MoU

Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Fliggy, the online travel service platform of Alibaba Group. Aimed to boost the number of Chinese tourists visiting Dubai, the MoU was signed by Issam Kazim, CEO, Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DCTCM) and Jerry Hu, VP, Fliggy and Alibaba Group, as part of a broader long-term alliance discussion at the Alibaba headquarters in Hangzhou in China. The MoU entails among other aspects, collaboration between the partners to deliver an enhanced travel experience for Chinese visitors to the emirate by providing easy access to Dubai’s travel products and information, initiating a payment scheme, etc. In addition, Dubai Tourism would continuously maintain and update the ‘Dubai Destination Mall’ page on Fliggy, providing a comprehensive overview of the city’s tourism proposition to the broad customer base that Fliggy delivers. As a major online travel platform in China, Fliggy is a strategic travel partner for Dubai Tourism within China, allowing Dubai’s entire travel and tourism ecosystem to set up and operate their own ‘shop’ on the Fliggy virtual marketplace. Additionally, being extremely popular amongst the younger generation of Chinese tourists, Fliggy is an even more relevant partner for Dubai as there is a clear priority to build a strong base within this segment as potential visitors to the city.

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Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority hosts 19th ‘Forum Des Pionniers’

BTEA (1)

Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority (BTEA) hosted the 19th edition of ‘Forum Des Pionniers’, held from May 12-16 at the Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre. H.E. Zayed bin Rashid Al Zayani, Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism; H.E. Shaikh Khaled bin Humood Al Khalifa, Chief Executive Officer, BTEA and H.E. Cécile Longé, Ambassador of France to the Kingdom of Bahrain presided over the event. During the course of the event, 127 tourism professionals including travel agents, airline and hotel representatives participated in various workshops. Meetings were also held to discuss issues specifically related to the field of travel in France, particularly around the theme of ‘Management of Intelligences’. In addition, the forum opens up new opportunities for regional and global businesses to enhance experience sharing, seek investment opportunities and boost cooperation. “Forum Des Pionniers is a great opportunity to promote the Kingdom’s tourism potential by establishing business relationships with French travel agents, tour operators and tourism organizations with an aim to increase the number of international visitors coming into Bahrain,” said Al Zayani. Further commenting on the event, Al Khalifa said, “Hosting the 19th edition of the forum comes in line with the BTEA’s long term strategy to further develop the Kingdom’s tourism sector and strengthen its position on a regional and international level under the slogan of ‘Ours.Yours.’, which contributes towards the Kingdom’s economy and the 2030 Economic Vision.”  

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DCT Abu Dhabi successfully concludes Golf Tourism Week

Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi Concludes Successful Launch of Abu Dhabi Golf Tourism Week 2

The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), in partnership with Abu Dhabi Sports Council (ADSC) and key golf stakeholders, recently concluded the first Abu Dhabi Golf Tourism Week event, held at key hotels and attractions across Abu Dhabi and Al Ain. The five-day event welcomed current and prospective golf tour operators supported by significant media coverage from 15 countries across Europe and Asia to the UAE capital to showcase Abu Dhabi as a destination of distinction and outline its unique offerings, in particular the Championship Golf. Abu Dhabi is very proud to have four unique yet complementary Championship golf courses to offer; Abu Dhabi Golf Club hosts the European Tour every January, Al Ain Equestrian, Shooting & Golf Club is home to the Faldo Series, Saadiyat Beach Golf Club is designed by the famous Gary Player and is the host venue to the Ladies European Tour, whilst Yas Links has been ranked No. 46 in the world by Golf Digest USA. Mubarak Al Nuaimi, Director, Promotion & Overseas Offices Department – DCT Abu Dhabi, said, “We are delighted to have organised Abu Dhabi Golf Tourism Week in partnership with Abu Dhabi Sports Council and other stakeholders. Through these events, we aim to strengthen and promote the capital as a premier golfing destination and educate tour operators across the globe about Abu Dhabi’s luxurious golf courses.”

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ADNEC chief lauds UAE Cabinet’s decision to refund VAT

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The Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company (ADNEC) has always been keen to support several national institutions and constantly aiming to drive the development of various economic and social sectors for the benefit of the country and its citizens. This is reflected in enhancing the emirate’s position globally and making it an ideal destination for hosting international conferences, exhibitions and events. “The decision to refund Value Added Tax (VAT) by institutions working in the exhibitions and conferences sector will significantly enhance the competitiveness of the industry and increase the capacity to attract niche global events, exhibitions and conferences. It will trim costs incurred by organisers and international associations while also enabling local associations to submit more bids for hosting major international conferences and congresses and enhancing the support of partnerships with the public and private sectors,” Humaid Matar Al Dhaheri, Group CEO, ADNEC. “The UAE, with its open, vibrant economy, world-class infrastructure and technological prowess, is at the forefront of shaping the business tourism sector at the regional and international levels. I am pleased to invite all public and private sector firms, partners, event organisers and specialised associations, to make optimum use of such initiatives that will consolidate their presence in the UAE by strengthening the existing exhibitions and conferences portfolio and attracting and conducting new events,” Dhaheri said.

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