By Emma Okonji
Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) has announced its return to this year’s Akwaaba African Travel Market, taking place in Lagos from 30 October to 1 November, underpinning the city’s continued commitment to the African market.
In its second consecutive year of participation, Dubai Tourism is set to highlight the latest additions to the city’s entertainment destinations and shopping experiences for African travellers in the coming months. Ten partners, including Emirates Airlines, Emirates Holidays, IMG Worlds of Adventure, North Tours, Red Apple Middle East Tourism, Time Hotels, Hilton Hotels, All In One Tourism, Alpha Tours and Arabian Falcon Holidays will be joining Dubai Tourism at their stand at the event.
The African continent continues to be a strong source market for visitors to Dubai. Nigeria, in particular, was amongst the top 20 source markets in 2015, with more than 127,000 overnight visitors arriving in the city. Strengthening its place as the preferred destination for African travellers, Dubai Tourism aims to use Africa’s premier travel trade show as a platform to showcase Dubai’s ever-expanding family entertainment venues and retail sector.
Speaking ahead of the event, Regional Director Africa for Dubai Tourism, Stella Obinwa said: “Dubai continues to establish itself as a destination of choice for travellers from the African continent, holding particular appeal amongst those looking for wholesome family fun, incredible shopping deals and year-long entertainment. This year, we want to showcase Dubai’s newest additions to its family entertainment and shopping venues which are set to welcome visitors from around the globe.”
As Dubai progresses towards becoming the world’s number one family holiday destination, one of the key activations at the trade show will include the world’s largest indoor theme park, IMG Worlds of Adventure. Open to the public in August 2016, the 1.5 million square foot, temperature-controlled indoor space offers year-round fun for all ages – spread across four themed zones: Cartoon Network, Lost Valley Dinosaur Adventure, MARVEL and IMG Boulevard.
Soon to open its doors is Dubai Parks and Resorts, featuring the LEGOLAND Dubai, LEGOLAND Water Park and a first-of-its-kind Bollywood Parks, while Hollywood-inspired Motiongate Dubai which will be launched on 16 December. The Parks will be connected by a retail, dining and entertainment walkway – Riverland Dubai, while guests can also stay at the Polynesian-themed Lapita hotel.
“We are very excited to provide our African visitors a glimpse of Dubai’s thrilling additions to the family entertainment portfolio. With the recent opening of IMG Worlds of Adventure and the soon-to-be-launched Dubai Parks and Resorts, we are proud to see Dubai’s steady success towards becoming the world’s number one family holiday destination. We are also bolstering our commitment to further enhance Dubai’s shopping experiences which include the upcoming Dubai Shopping Festival from December 26 to January 31,” Obinwa said.
Commencing its 22nd edition in December 2016, Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) will promote Dubai as a shopping destination, with its expansive retail offerings being a major attraction for African visitors. Featuring a month-long extravaganza of shopping bargains and festivities across the city, an integrated shopping and entertainment destination that opens each year – Global Village – along with appearances and experiences by global celebrities and fashion brands the city provides shoppers with the best deals across a plethora of shopping focused activations.