Dubai Tourism welcomes support of stakeholders to accelerate momentum in year of Expo
Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) held its first bi-annual ‘City Briefing’ for 2021 at the newly built Dubai Exhibition Centre, highlighting the sector’s promising performance since the reopening of the city to international tourists a year ago.
As efforts intensified across the tourism ecosystem to accelerate momentum in this landmark year for Dubai and the UAE, the forum featured a detailed presentation on Expo 2020, the multi-faceted mega event which runs from October 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022, as well as insights into domestic and global developments and marketing campaigns worldwide aimed at reinforcing Dubai’s profile as a safe, must-visit destination and the world’s best city to live and work in.
Presided by Helal Saeed Almarri, director general, Dubai Tourism, the forum hosted over 1,000 key executives from leading establishments in the hospitality, travel, and tourism sectors. It was held within the framework of Dubai Tourism’s regular dialogue with key industry leaders to exchange insights and work with them to ensure the industry is seamlessly aligned with tourism growth initiatives and strategies. By holding the forum at the Dubai Exhibition Centre with precautionary guidelines being comprehensively observed, Dubai Tourism sought to highlight the enormous significance of Expo 2020 to Dubai’s tourism industry and the gathering pace of recovery in the events sector.
“Dubai has continued to lead global tourism recovery and has constantly set new precedents in how to safely yet effectively open internationally and critically stay open,” Helal Saeed Almarri said. “Inspired by the visionary leadership of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE, and Ruler of Dubai, the city’s ability and priority in effectively managing the pandemic has positioned Dubai as one of the world’s safest destinations. It has also placed us in prime position to drive growth, especially since we see Expo 2020 as a global pivot to pioneer the future of international tourism and business.”
He also said that the emirate’s tourism rebound in the second half of 2020, leading to industry stabilisation in 2021, and is also a reflection of the crucial support extended by various stakeholders and partners. “Our constant dialogue has allowed us to collectively adapt to the evolving situation and implement our post-pandemic strategy as we continuously strive to improve traveller confidence and build an even more resilient and sustainable tourism sector. As the city prepares to host the region’s first World Expo, as well as play a leading role in the UAE’s Golden Jubilee celebrations, we look forward to making significant progress in 2021 and beyond.”
Partners were briefed on the positive developments since the city reopened to tourists on July 7, 2020. Dubai Tourism data shared with participants shows the success of the city’s reopening strategy. Incremental increase in tourist arrivals month on month from markets that are open delivered 3.7 million international overnight visitors in the July 2020 - May 2021 period. Dubai Tourism’s partners and stakeholders expressed their appreciation for the multi-pronged strategy to combat the pandemic, leading to the reopening of the city to global travellers in July 2020.
Adnan Kazim, Emirates’ chief commercial officer, said: “It has been a year since Dubai opened its doors for leisure and business visitors, and we have demonstrated that international air travel and tourism can safely take place with enhanced health protocols, a focus on clear and consistent measures, and a successful vaccine rollout. Dubai’s leadership understood the critical importance of providing a road map for the safe return and revitalisation of the economy through meticulous planning, a coordinated public-private approach and strong partnerships across the travel and tourism sectors.”
He added: “Emirates is proud to have played its part to help reopen air travel, closely working with DTCM on health and safety measures to safeguard the wellbeing of visitors. These collective efforts and the safe and gradual restart of our network, which today stands at over 115 destinations, brought in two million visitors to the city on Emirates since July 7, 2020 and saw bookings growing over 30 per cent from last year.”
Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports, said: “Despite the challenges during a period that was the most turbulent time in the history of international air travel, Dubai Airports retained its position as the world’s busiest international airport for the seventh consecutive year with 25.9 million passengers in 2020. After having welcomed nearly six million passengers in Q1 2021, DXB now looks set for a stable second quarter and the outlook for the second half of the year looks positive thanks to the seasonal travel rush and upcoming major international events including the Dubai Expo 2020 and the Dubai Airshow 2021.”
Ahmad Al Matrooshi, executive board member at Emaar Properties, said: “I would like to take the opportunity to thank DTCM for their constant support throughout this time. During the last 12 months, the government has worked tirelessly to make the city safe and comfortable for every resident and visitor. At Emaar Hospitality Group, we followed the safety guidelines at our hotels with utmost attention, inoculated over 90 percent of our team members within a short span and opened three new beach resorts, as we cater to more tourists this year. As the official hotel, hospitality and catering partner of Expo 2020, we are looking forward to this much awaited futuristic event in October.”
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