The Future Belongs To Dubai

One of the quotes on the exterior of Dubai’s Museum of the Future reads “The future belongs to those who can imagine it, design it and execute it. The future does not wait. The future can be designed and built today.”

With that kind of outlook, the city has imagined their future to grow with tourism from around the world, and it’s looking beyond regional borders to do it, reports Press Today’s Sandra Eagle from Dubai.

With lots of new lift from Canada, the sky’s the limit for tour operators to discover Dubai. Emirates has announced daily direct flights from Montreal starting this July, complementing its daily direct flights from Toronto, while Air Canada announced this April the addition of new, non-stop flights from Vancouver. The new route will operate four times weekly beginning Oct. 28.

These new arrivals from Canada will only swell the already impressive numbers of tourists visiting the city. At the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) in Dubai, His Excellency, Issam Kazim, CEO of the Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing, sat down with a small group of international media to talk about the city’s strategic tourism plans.

“We’ve made tremendous strides in our efforts to position the city as a must-visit destination with initiatives that increase accessibility, minimize barriers to travel, and make it as seamless as possible for travellers to visit Dubai.”

It was announced at the start of ATM that Dubai had 4.67 million international overnight visitors in the first quarter of 2023, compared to 3.97 million tourists during the same period in 2022. This marks a 17% year-over-year growth and the city’s best Q1 performance since the pandemic, placing it firmly on track to becoming the most visited international destination, according to the latest data published by Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism.

Kazim says travel agents are key to activate new markets to awareness of this destination. “North America is still an area where we need to do some work on why it’s worth it to come to Dubai.”

Strategic efforts include encouraging the first Michelin Guide for Dubai in 2022. A government and private sector initiative have launched the Dubai College for Tourism. The college developed soft skill sets for hospitality employees to be advocates for the city.

The greatest opportunity for growth is in the summer months, when room rates are lower, with room rates that average between 167 to 200 USD. Kazim notes: “We have seen a lot of change in our source markets. A large number of people come here for business trips, who don’t know what to expect from Dubai. The next time they bring a partner or family because they have knowledge of the city.”

Dubai has traditionally been seen as a stopover point for a one or two day stay before heading to another destination.

“With global travel undergoing a paradigm shift in terms of visitor expectations and experiences, we are making every effort to ensure Dubai performs even better in 2023 and beyond to remain ahead of the curve in a highly competitive global tourism landscape,” says Kazim.

In the Photo

Seen here, from l to r, are Charmaine Singh, president and CEO, Reach Global Marketing Ltd., His Excellency, Issam Kazim, CEO of the Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing and Sandra Eagle, Baxter Media.