Dubai has launched one of its biggest ever tourism campaigns, splashing US$20 million on a global push to attract even more tourists to the emirate.
It comes as Abu Dhabi steps up its own efforts to boost visitor numbers to the capital.
With billions of dollars being spent on expanding airports across the emirates, thousands of new hotel rooms under construction and several new theme parks under way, the UAE is becoming one of the world’s fastest growing tourism destinations.
“The UAE is definitely capturing the imagination of the world,” said Gaurav Sinha, the founder of the hospitality branding agency Insignia Worldwide.
But the marketing push comes amid turbulent times for the global travel industry with faltering growth in Europe and a sanction-battered Russia both threatening inbound tourism from these two key source markets for the Emirates.
Emirates Airline and Dubai's Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing yesterday launched their $20 million "See you in Dubai" campaign to attract tourists from Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East.
“Dubai is a global hub and a global destination in itself,” said Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the chairman and chief executive of Emirates Airline and Group. “From Emirates’ perspective, it is our unique differentiator.”
The Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) is also stepping up its promotion campaign next year and will participate in the largest number of tourism trade events to date. It will attend 24 trade exhibitions and 13 roadshows across 34 cities in 25 countries.
“We are expanding our footprint to new markets – namely Serbia, South Africa, Holland and Azerbaijan while established roadshow product will be extended to take in new destinations, including Amsterdam,” said Mubarak Al Nuaimi, the director of promotions and overseas offices at TCA Abu Dhabi.
A total of 1.68 million passengers passed through Abu Dhabi International Airport in October, up 17.4 per cent from the same month a year ago, Abu Dhabi Airports said yesterday.
The top five routes from the airport in October were Bangkok, Doha, London Heathrow, Manila and Bahrain, showed data from Abu Dhabi Airports yesterday. Those routes accounted for 17 per cent of all the traffic at the airport.
While passenger numbers continue to rise every month in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, the European tourism industry is struggling to overcome weakening demand.
Thomas Cook, the big UK High Street travel agent yesterday warned of a tough year ahead as the number of customers it handled in the United Kingdom and Ireland declined by 1.1 million to 6.1 million during the year ended September. Germany’s TUI Group said the number of customers it handled in Europe declined by 2.5 per cent. In France, the numbers declined by 29 per cent and by 5.6 per cent in Germany in the first nine months of the year.
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