DTCM opens eighth VIB at Mercato mall

DUBAI - The Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) formally opened yesterday its eighth Visitors Information Bureau (VIB) at Mercato shopping mall after a successful soft opening on July 1 which saw a total of 578 visitors from 23 nationalities over a 10-day period.

By A Staff Reporter

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Published: Mon 12 Jul 2004, 9:32 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 1:46 PM

"Visitor enquiries since 1997 totalled 330,000, and we believe that opening a VIB at Mercato is a good step in the right direction," said Salah Rashid Al Ansari, DTCM Manager, Visitors Information Bureau, who addressed a Press conference at Mercato yesterday.

Mercato is the fifth shopping mall in the emirate to host a VIB. The first VIB was set up in 1993 at the Dubai International Airport and the year 2002 saw the opening of VIBs in four shopping malls - Deira City Centre, Hamarain, Wafi City and BurJuman Centre.

When asked whether the department had plans to set up additional VIBs in other shopping malls, particularly the Dubai Shopping Malls Group (DSMG) members, he said that it will largely depend on the results of a feasibility study which will include the visitor numbers in the malls and other factors. "Our vision is to provide a one-stop centre for visitors in the emirate, and our future plans include the introduction of more VIBs in areas frequented by visitors. This year, we have opened a VIB at Mercato. Next year, we will be opening more VIBs but we have not yet taken a decision on their respective locations."

He said the the sharp rise in the number of visitors in the emirate has led to more demand for information on anything and everything about Dubai. "We regularly review the needs and the network will be expanded if deemed fit," he said.

Over 28,000 visitors were handled by two VIBs in 1997 and 82,100 visitors in 2002, an indication that the popularity of VIBs have grown over the years.

Mr Al Ansari expressed his appreciation for the support the Mercato mall management had extended in bringing the services of the VIB for the visitors.

Rebecca Arnold, Marketing Manager, Mercato, said: "We have developed a very strong working relationship with the DTCM. We are very pleased to provide an additional service to our customers. We have been working hard with the department to materialise the bureau which will provide a wealth of information for travellers who wish to know more about Dubai. The facility, we felt, was much needed and a sought-after service."

The in-mall VIBs have been successful in Dubai. During the Sweet Surprises theme week organised by the department from July 1 to 7, the VIBs distributed over 20,000 booklets on the theme week's calendar of events to the visitors.

In addition to the Dubai International Airport, the department also operates VIBs in Baniyas Square, Shaikh Zayed Road and the Dubai World Trade Centre. The airport facility operates on a 24-hour basis.

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