It was a show of affluence, opulence and hospitality at the recently concluded Arabian Travel Market in Dubai held between April 24-27. Funke Olaode, who participated in the four day event witnessed continuous evolving of Dubai as it showcased its latest offers and new development
Calling Dubai a choice destination in the Middle East is an understatement as recent years, has seen it playing host to millions of tourists across the globe. The recently concluded Arabian Travel Market held at Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre, which is an annual tourism, hospitality and trade platform saw exhibitors in both travels and hospitality jostling for visitorsâ€™ attention as they showcased what they had to offer.
Dubai has become one of the most sought after destinations in the world. With its less than 6 million population and a GDP par capital predicted to rise by 22 percent to just $75,000 in a few years, Dubai, a city of superlatives, pristine beaches and an interesting mix of indoor and outdoor entertainment, has in the last 21 years been playing host to thousands of visitors from around the world. Owing to factors such as rising incomes, retail real estate expansion and steady inflow of international brands, the UAE tourism offering is set to reach new heights in the years ahead.
Dubaiâ€™s ambition to become worldâ€™s most visited city is obvious. Tourism is an important part of the Dubai governmentâ€™s strategy to maintain the flow of foreign cash into the emirate. As of 2013, Dubai was the fourth most visited city of the world based on air traffic and the fastest growing, increasing by a 10.7 per cent. Dubai attracts at least 14 million tourists in 2015. And by the end of that year, the countryâ€™s gross domestic product stood at $340.8 billion
This yearâ€™s ATM nonetheless, lived up to expectation with over 3,000 exhibitors, 80 nationals pavilions, 40 seminars and technology theatre sessions with thousands of trade visitors witnessed the four-day event.
Apart from promoting tourism, the Arabian Travel Market was also an avenue for Dubai government to communicate with the industry, celebrate the travel and tourism industry, share successes and outline future plans for its Tourism Vision 2020 when it will welcome over 20 million visitors.
Dubai sets to become the worldâ€™s most visited city by 2020
With level of infrastructural development going on visitorâ€™s experience evolves as Tourism Vision 2020 provides clear focus for growth and development. One year into the delivery of Dubaiâ€™s â€˜Tourism Vision 2020â€™, significant first steps have been taken to achieve the target of attracting 20 million annual visitors by 2020, leading the emirateâ€™s authority to state a new ambition: for Dubai to become the worldâ€™s most visited city. Having announced the Tourism Vision 2020 in 2013, the department of tourism and commerce marketing talked about the achievement made so far based on the collective commitment from industry stakeholders to sector growth and development; demonstrate continual enhancements and evolution of the cityâ€™s destination offering; and preview a new marketing blueprint designed to further raise emirateâ€™s international profile.
No doubt, Dubai is flourishing and expanding. Recently, the city created Ministry of Happiness and Enjoyment. This is evident in all the small rating screens positioned in strategic places in the city. It simply asks visitors to rate their satisfaction on the screen whether they are happy or otherwise.
â€œIt is amazing that the tallest building is in Dubai and probably 20 years ago people never thought of Dubai. The Ruler of Dubai sees things that people donâ€™t.
He puts the money in the right places. Everything that the government does is top notch. That is why Dubai is what is today. It is passion that makes Dubai what it is,â€ Andrew, an exhibitor from Las Vegas commented on the breathtaking development of the city.
New Dubai Tourism College Unveiled at ATM
Making a new major addition to the Emirateâ€™s travel industry, Dubai Tourism has announced the opening of the Dubai College of Tourism (DCT). Unveiling the government backed vocational institution, the conveners said it is set to train the emirateâ€™s next generation of industry professionals and will take its first student from September 2017.
The new college is the brainchild of Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing. When it kicks off in September, the institute promises to provide school leavers with an alternative option to further education. DCM aims to empower future leaders, entrepreneurs and employees of Dubaiâ€™s tourism industry, ensuring a steady of pipeline of highly trained hospitality professionals for the city. The opening of the college is in line with Dubai Tourismâ€™s overreaching strategy to welcome 20 million visitors to the city in 2020, as well as encouraging young Emirates to become part of the cityâ€™s evolving tourism sector.
According to DCM General Manager, Essa Bin Hadher, â€œDeveloping a knowledgeable and well-rounded hospitality workforce that delivers exceptional customer service is key to Dubaiâ€™s rapidly expanding tourism industry.
â€œDubai College of Tourism is dedicated to delivering best in class vocational and educational programmes that will develop key skills, provide practical on-the-job experience and ensure we meet the needs of both learners and employers.
â€œWe will nurture and hone the talent of Dubaiâ€™s young people, both expat and Emirati, we want to study, work and succeed in the city they have grown up and call home,â€ Hadher said.
Qasr Al Sultan Boutique Hotelâ€¦Arabian hospitality at its finest
ATM also saw the launch of a new boutique hotel to mark a major addition to heritage destination Qasr Al Sultan Dubai. Situated within reach of several major leisure attractions including Dubai Parks and Resorts, and The Outlet Village. The structure is inspired by a tradition Sultanâ€™s place.
Owned by Dubai Gourmet, a Meraas company, the new hotel features a 12 spacious Royal Villas, each featuring a private entrance with parking, a garden and dedicated butler service.
The Royal Villas are designed to complement the ultimate desert dining experience and lifestyle under the starts. It is for those who like to enjoy privacy, love to bask in the sun beside a private Jacuzzi, seeking a truly bespoke getaway and looking for lasting memories at this unique Arabian retreat.
Additionally, visitors can discover a magical culinary experience with interactive live cooking station, a unique food bazaar and live entertainment shows. They can also feel the grandeur of joining the sultan table, or connect with friends and family in the Arabian majlis while making sure that the young ones are entertained in the kids play area. A traditional shopping experience also awaits guests at souq and they can also learn about Arabian heritage by visiting dukan zaman. With the launch of this luxury hotel, guests can spend the night in the desert and make the most of this extraordinary setting.
â€œSince the hotel was launched in February, our guests have been captivated by the experience it has created. We are delighted to be expanding Qasr Al Sultan, and Royal Villas will add another layer to our rich cultural offering,â€ said Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Gourmet, Abdin Nasralia.
Middle East and Asiaâ€™s show of affluenceâ€¦
International expansion is an important part of the new roadmap for the tourism division. Many countries did not disappoint as they showed their interest in boosting tourism across boarder. Known for its oil rich nature, the Middle East comprising of United Arab Emirates (Dubai), Abu Dhabi, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and hosts of other paraded stands (pavilions) that left many participants and guests agape. From the interior to exterior, everything was breathtaking. The impact of Asian countries with their eye popping stands could not be over emphasized either.
Though Nigeria has been missing in action in the last two years, a few African countries such as South Africa, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, were conspicuously present and displayed their cultural heritage.
The Malaysians, Egyptians, were all captivating as they displayed the best of their beauties. With over 3,000 exhibitorsâ€™ presence in the Sun City, once again, the 2017 Arabian Travel Market has further strengthened international territories.