Category Archives: Govt

Abu Dhabi tourism launches new guidelines to streamline the process of organising exhibitions

The Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi Launches New Guidelines for Bazaars and Consumer Fairs 3

The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) has launched a new manual to streamline the process of organising and implementing consumer fairs and exhibitions in the UAE capital. The new manual, which is available on DCT Abu Dhabi’s corporate website and Events Licensing System, covers such events as consumer exhibitions and events open to the public where products are sold and outlines best practices for ensuring each event offers an enhanced overall experience for visitors. The manual includes an explanation of the standards and procedures required to either maintain or improve facilities and services each event offers, as well as working in coordination with the DCT Abu Dhabi Events Licensing System, which provides a fast effective solution for registering and licensing all events held in Abu Dhabi. It incorporates a database for event type and information, category, speakers and activities, as well as containing indicators of tourism performance, growth orientations and of an event’s success and fulfillment of its set objectives. “This new manual lays out DCT Abu Dhabi’s recommended procedures for organising and presenting consumer fairs and exhibitions. This reflects our commitment to streamlining the process of hosting events here in Abu Dhabi, and we hope the manual will act as a catalyst for entrepreneurs and small-to-medium sized businesses with an interest in putting on events in the UAE capital,” said Nasser Al Rayami, Licence & Regulatory Compliance Department Director, DCT Abu Dhabi.

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Abu Dhabi tourism witnesses 6% increase in hotel guests

Abu Dhabi Hotel Guest Numbers Rise 6% During June 2

The latest figures released by the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) for the emirate’s hospitality sector show the number of hotel guests staying in Abu Dhabi during June rose by 6 per cent compared to the same month a year ago, with Saudi Arabian and American guests underpinning the uplift. Completing a record-breaking first half of the year, June’s results reveal the Department’s plans to exceed 2017’s record-breaking numbers of guest arrivals, when close to five million people stayed in the emirate, are on track. In total 339,592 visitors were guests of Abu Dhabi’s 162 hotels and hotel apartments during June, an increase of more than 19,000 over the previous year. For the first six months of 2018, the figures show Abu Dhabi upping the total number of hotel guests to the emirate by 5 per cent on the year, with 2,413,230 guests in total arriving. HE Sultan Al Dhaheri, Executive Director, Tourism Sector – DCT Abu Dhabi, added, “We are delighted to see hotel guest numbers and occupancy rates in positive territory for all three of Abu Dhabi’s distinct regions. As pleasing as it is to see visitors from both Saudi Arabia and the US arriving in such numbers, we will continue to strongly focus on all of our key markets for the second half of the year, promoting our latest tourism and cultural assets alongside the diverse range of offerings we already showcase.”

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VAT refund for tourists to open doors for further growth

Tejas Goenka, Executive Director

Tourists visiting the UAE will be entitled to claim back any Value Added Tax (VAT) payments they are charged. “The UAE has become a regional magnet for foreign investors and tourists, and the move to refund VAT yet again shows UAE’s strategic ability to drive the growth of the country,” said Tejas Goenka, Executive Director, Tally Solutions. Since the launch of VAT, thousands of businesses in the UAE have been using Tally’s software to comply with VAT regulations. The UAE’s Federal Tax Authority (FTA) is also working on an advanced integrated digital system to set up a direct connection with points of sale as well as with all UAE ports of entry, allowing the global operator to coordinate among retailers registered with the FTA and enable tourists to submit refund requests for their purchases. “Internationally, most countries that implement VAT have an online robust system connecting multiple refund agencies and retailers on a single platform, offering tourists a seamless and hassle-free experience while verifying, processing and disbursing the tax refunds. We are confident that the new digital system to be implemented by FTA will be at par with international standards, offering tourists and retailers easy access to claim and release refunds. Since the launch of VAT, thousands of small companies in the UAE have switched to digital platforms from manual systems, demonstrating the country’s global competitiveness,” added Tejas. While the UAE’s decision to refund value-added tax (VAT) will boost tourism, it will serve as a buoyant force for the MiCE industry as well according to Tejas.

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Dubai records 8 million overnight visitors in first half of 2018

HE Helal Saeed Almarri - Director General DTCM

Dubai welcomed a record 8.10 million international overnight tourists during the first six months of 2018, representing a consistent increase on the same period last year. Figures released by Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) have confirmed the continued success of the emirate’s tourism sector. A destination of choice for a number of global markets, Dubai is on track for projected growth into the second half of 2018. Top source markets continued to witness stable year-on-year performances in the first half of 2018, with India, KSA and the UK retaining their top three positions when compared to the same period last year. India again brought in the highest number of international guests, once again crossing the 1-million-mark over a six-month period, up by 3 per cent year-on-year. KSA and the UK retained their spots as the second and third largest feeder markets respectively, with the former rallying to a slight increase and remaining as the highest traffic driver from the GCC region. His Excellency Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General, Dubai Tourism, commented, “The first six months of 2018 have both generated and sustained a steady performance, supporting strong growth across our global feeder markets. Attracting 8.10 million visitors during the first half of 2018 stands us in good stead as we accelerate momentum towards our visionary aspiration of becoming the most visited city in the world.”

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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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