The Government of Dubai has put in place measures to stimulate the number of Nigerians visiting that country, from its 2019 statistics when Nigeria was one of its top performing source markets with a year-on-year increase of 33 percent in visitor numbers.
This projection is envisaged because of the merger of its tourism department with the department of economy, in an intentional move to position tourism as a huge starter in the economy of Dubai.
It is also supported by the increase in seat capacity from Emirates Airline between Dubai and Nigeria in the summer.
This was disclosed by Regional Director International Operations, Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism (DET), Stella Fabura, during the recent Annual Dubai Roadshow in Lagos.
The event, which featured 33 partners across hospitality, medical and entertainment sectors, also held across key Nigerian cities.
Fabura pointed out that the event aimed at creating interactive sessions between Dubai tourism stakeholders and its Nigerian counterparts.
According to her, “We spent the last two years during the pandemic improving the attraction in the hotels and in the offerings. We have so many African restaurants now in Dubai and Nigerians when they travel they love to eat their food and now we have that. We have also opened quite a few new attractions in Dubai, Ain Dubai, Madame Tussauds Dubai, and Museum of the Future, these are all new things probably happened in the last six months and some of the hotels took their time off to refurbish and new hotels opened.”
Describing the extent of transformation, Fubara said, “Dubai literally rebrands frequently. Every three to six months there is something new to see.”
On the growing relationship between Dubai and Nigeria, Tareq Binbrek, Assistant Manager, International Relations (Africa) for Dubai Tourism said: “Nigeria is of significant importance to Dubai and we will continue strengthening our relationships and developing strategic activities in this fast growing market. The road show gives us the opportunity to reach out to all of our partners, to align on future trade opportunities and ensure Dubai continues to remain front-of-mind for Nigerian travellers.”
To this end, Binbrek stated, “The road show would further increase DET’s promotional efforts in showcasing Dubai’s ever-evolving tourism proposition to African tourists. Experiencing strong growth in tourism numbers from Africa, Dubai Tourism sustained its momentum by strengthening relationships with all industry stakeholders in the region.”
Accompanied by 32 Dubai-based partners, he said, “Dubai Tourism began the 2022 Road Show in Abuja on June 7th; followed by Port Harcourt on June 9th, and Lagos on June 14th. The road show highlights Dubai’s affordable experiences and the diversity of the city’s offerings to key travel partners in Nigeria. Some of the products showcased at the road show, span across travel, accommodation, entertainment and citywide events, with a focus on family travel and medical tourism. Key elements of the event include breakout network sessions, partner presentations, one-on-one meetings, and Medical facilities updates.
“Nigeria is the giant of Africa and they travel the most and they are the most exciting when it comes to entertainment and adventure and it is really important we focus on Nigerians and find out what they like to do when they travel and they travel a lot. And Nigerians being the number one visitors from African countries to Dubai for the past six years and so it is important for us to pay attention to Nigerians.
The event witnessed a showcase of offerings from hotels hotels such as; Al Khoory Hotel, Atlantis The Palm Hotel & Resort, Copthorne Hotel, Emaar Hospitality (Address hotels, Vida, Rove, Armani), Ghaya Hilton Garden Inn, Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates, Jumeirah Group, Mandarin Oriental, Millennium Airport Hotel, Sheraton Mall of the Emirates among others.
The day also experienced Dubai Healthcare Authority, American Hospital, Canadian Specialist Hospital, Neuro Spine Hospital and many others.
Under the Destination Management Companies category, “Dusk Travel & Tourism, Golden Treasure Tourism, Mida Tourism, Pacific Destination Tourism, Rayna Tourism, Red Apple Middle East Tourism, The Tour Designers, and White Sands Tours & Travel.”
He said, “Dubai Tourism has the ultimate vision of positioning Dubai as the world’s leading tourism destination and commercial hub. Dubai Tourism’s mission is to increase the awareness of Dubai among global audiences and to attract tourists and inward investment into the Emirate.”
The Managing Director, Flyzone Tourism, Ayodeji Awonoyi stated, “I am happy that Dubai tourism came to introduce most agencies to Dubai hotels, Dubai tours, Dubai packages and visas. Basically, why I’m here is to showcase our own products like Dubai visas for Nigerian travel agencies. Most of the travel agencies are already using us and we are here to make new partners. The event is fine and new companies are springing up.”