The familiarisation trip was organised by Dubai Business Events – the Official Convention Bureau (DBE), a division of Dubai Tourism, as part of its ongoing strategy to promote the city as a ‘must-experience’ destination that can host conferences, meetings as well as corporate and incentive travel events of any scale or scope.
By inviting key meetings industry decision-makers and journalists to experience Dubai first hand, DBE is aiming to create a platform for engagement to build advocacy for the emirate’s business events offer, and subsequently increase the number of visitors and business events hosted in the city every year.
Members of the group arrived in Dubai from various European cities on Emirates, and toured leading hotels and meeting venues during their three day visit. They also met with various DMCs and tourism stakeholders, and experienced leisure activities in the city including interacting with dolphins at Atlantis the Palm, doing an aerial tour of the city with Seawings and playing Camel Polo at the Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club. They also visited popular sites such as Dubai Mall, the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), Burj Khalifa, the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding (SMCCU), The Palace Hotel, and Madinat Jumeirah.
“Dubai has a robust offer as a destination in terms of infrastructure, service levels and general lifestyle features which can’t be fully communicated through trade shows, sales presentations, or promotional videos alone. Our international partners in the travel industry are much more likely to recommend Dubai as an events destination to their corporate clients after they see first-hand just how welcoming and convenient the city is for business and incentive trips,” said Steen Jakobsen, Director of Dubai Business Events (DBE).
Under Dubai’s ‘Tourism Vision for 2020’ roadmap, government and private sector partners are working together to double the number of tourists visiting Dubai in 2020 to 20 million people per year, up from the 10 million people who visited in 2012. The aims of the strategy are to double leisure visitors to the emirate to 17 million per year by 2020 while increasing business visitors by 50% to 75% to around 3.5 million people per year.
The recently concluded familiarisation trip from the European market is one of three planned for 2015, with groups from Asia and North America respectively expected to visit later on in the year. “Our preliminary feedback from the trip’s participants has been overwhelmingly positive and we look forward to welcoming more and more of our international travel industry partners to Dubai to build relationships which will be both long-lasting as well as mutually beneficial,” Jakobsen added.
Jakobsen went on to thank local tourism partners, including Dubai Airports, Grand Hyatt Dubai, Atlantis Dubai, Gulf Dunes, Arabian Adventures, Biz Group, Seawings, Madinat Jumeirah, The Palace Downtown, Emaar, the Meydan Hotel and Burj Khalifa’s At.Mosphere, for their collaboration in making the trip a successful one.