UAE puts family at heart of tourism strategy
Dubai appeals to family tourists due to its easy connectivity, infrastructure, and family-friendly hotels.
Family tourism packages continue to enjoy a surge in popularity, as tourism and hospitality vendors across the UAE focus on reinforcing the country's image as a family-friendly destination, experts at the Arabian Travel Market (ATM 2019) said.
Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, chairman of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation, officially inaugurated the event on Sunday. The 26th edition of the event is taking place from April 28 to May 1, and has attracted representatives from over 150 countries. With more than 40,000 visitors expected to attend, ATM 2019 will showcase over 2,500 exhibiting companies - of these 100 will be making their show debut.
Chris Newman, chief operating officer, Emaar Hospitality Group, noted that family leisure tourism is one of the largest segments in the industry right now, and that it continues to record robust growth. As one of the most visited destinations in the world, Dubai appeals to family tourists for its easy connectivity, infrastructure, tourist attractions and the family-friendly hotels in the city, he said.
"It is important to customise packages for families and this is reflected in our new summer packages offering up to three free nights at the premium luxury Address Hotels + Resorts, and the upscale lifestyle Vida Hotels and Resorts. The exclusive summer rates are also available at Rove Hotels," he said. "At all hotels under Address Hotels + Resorts and Vida Hotels and Resorts, guests who join the Emaar loyalty programme U By Emaar for free, can enjoy offers such as pay for two nights and stay for three; pay for four nights and stay for six; and pay for six nights and stay for nine."
Such packages are designed to cater to families and groups of friends, who are travelling together, in central locations across the city. "With the launch of these summer packages, we aim to meet the lifestyle aspirations of our international visitors as well as UAE residents," Newman said.
Axel Jarosch, general manager of the recently opened Jumeirah Al Wathba Desert Resort & Spa Abu Dhabi, also spoke about the importance of ensuring family-friendly offerings for guests. "Most of our guests are from the UAE and GCC region, and they always like to focus on booking stays at locations that will have something for the whole family. These usually involve activities that bring the family together and which allow them to unwind and connect with each other. Our location means that we offer activities such as star gazing in the desert at night, and guided tours that allow families to learn more about the fauna and flora of the surrounding areas."
Jarosch also noted that the Jumeirah Group was investing in promoting its hotels as family-oriented destinations. "Families like doing lots of things together and creating wonderful memories. This will often involve a lot of customisation of the holiday packages, which we are happy to do, and which we see as an opportunity to promote our brand."