The Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) is targeting to attract 1.4 million visitors from the highly-promising UK and Ireland markets by the year 2010, up from the present nearly 700,000 tourists, according to Mr. Ian Scott, who took over as the new Director of DTCM’s Representation Office for the UK and Ireland last month.
Last year, nearly 700,000 British guests stayed with Dubai’s rapidly-expanding hotels and hotel apartments, making the UK and Ireland the top source market for the emirate’s booming tourism industry. Presently, about 200 tour operators are featuring Dubai in the holiday packages in this prime European market.
The department continues its aggressive promotional and marketing drive in the UK and Ireland markets to enhance its share of visitors to Dubai. About 500 tour operators, travel agents and media representatives from the UK and Ireland were brought to Dubai on familiarization tours of the emirate last year.
Taking into account the continued impressive performance of its booming tourism industry and global interest in its awesome infrastructure projects, Dubai has remained under the spotlight at the World Travel Market (WTM-2007) which is currently underway in London from November 12 to 15.
The impressive Dubai Stand at the world’s top travel and tourism industry show have 95 co-participants from the fast-expanding tourism industry of the emirate, including hotels and tour operators in addition to public sector organizations. This is the 18th consecutive year participation in the WTM by the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM).
The DTCM Director General, Mr. Khalid A bin Sulayem, said, “The UK has remained the top source market for Dubai’s fast-expanding, high-performing tourism industry. This year’s edition of WTM will be utilized to further consolidate our position in the world market, especially the European countries which has been significantly contributing to the increased number of visitors of the emirate each passing year.”
The department, he said, will continue its aggressive promotional and marketing agenda in the UK in addition to tapping emerging markets. The WTM, he said, provides an ideal platform to reach out to the world to promote Dubai as the world’s leading tourism and business hub.
It also provides the Dubai participants to consolidate their businesses to achieve the goals set for the tourism industry under the Dubai Strategic Plan (DSP-2015) by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
In the first half of 2007, Dubai hotel establishments played a host to 356,259 guests from the UK market, up by 7% compared with the corresponding period last year.
In the first quarter of 2006, about 334,000 guests from the UK stayed with Dubai hotels, while the number of guests in the second quarter was 158,260 and 190,321 in the third quarter and 164,000 guests in the last quarter.
The growth in the number of guests from the UK to Dubai has been consistently strong. From 106,706 guests in 1996, the numbers went up to 348,477 in the year 2001 and 687,138 in the year 2006.
The two-way trade between the UK and Dubai in the year 2006 was AED13.24 billion. The number of UK passengers using the Dubai International Airport last year was 2.9 million, up by 13% compared with the previous year.
There was 3% increase in the number of UK companies in the Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZ) which stood at 397 in 2006. The total number of tour operators featuring Dubai in the UK market was 178 during the 2006-2007 period. The number of weekly flights between Dubai and the UK during the 2006 was 279.