Julie King, Director – Asia/Pacific, Dubai Tourism
Following a huge year of Dubai promotion in 2015, we enter 2016 with an exciting year of development launches and many new Brand Partnerships and exciting initiatives to increase further the awareness and excitement of the destination.
We are getting ever closer to the Expo 2020, in which we have a vision to transform the city and increase visitor arrivals and while there are challenging times ahead with the dollar still remaining at its lowest since 2009, outbound travel still remains strong and Dubai offers something for everyone to cater for all budgets.
This year, Dubai will host a year-long calendar of sporting, music and arts events, to compliment the much anticipated opening of the four theme parks, the Dubai Opera House, Dubai Safari Zoo and a range of new hotel brands. The three-week long Dubai Food Festival (DFF) kicks off next month with an exciting announcement that is a major coup for Dubai Tourism. For the third annual Food Festival we will be bringing over top Aussie celebrity chefs to help us to showcase Dubai’s diverse culinary offering to Australians in a series of masterclasses, demonstrations, VIP events and cook-offs over the period 25th – 28th February. This is a great opportunity to encourage your clients to visit Dubai during this time and interact with these very talented and creative Chefs.
But while we gear up to entice Australians to stopover for longer, there are times when transiting is the only option for Australians, so 2016 also sees new products launch for time-poor visitors who want to take a break from their flight and leave the airport and experience the highlights of city. The lifestyle arm of Seawings seaplanes has launched its Dubai stopover solutions, with 8-hour and 12-hour packages of Burj Khalifa experiences and a Seawings Adventure Flight amongst other experiences so it is worth encouraging your clients to take a longer break in their flights and try out some of the city and next time we are confident they will stop-over.
Over the next month, our Regional Sales Managers will be at a series of trade expos around Australia, so do make sure you pop in and chat to them about all the forthcoming developments and projects we have in store for this year. You can find their details on our AFTA destination page.