The Ruler of Dubai has hailed the success of a nationwide winter tourism campaign.
Close to a million people visited local attractions and delivered a Dh1 billion boost to the UAE's hospitality sector in only six weeks.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Prime Minister, said the 45-day "World's Coolest Winter" initiative had proven such a hit it would return once more this December.
The scheme was launched on December 12, as part of a new UAE Strategy for Domestic Tourism, in a bid to encourage residents and citizens to explore the seven emirates to their fullest.
"The campaign attracted 950,000 domestic tourists and Dh1 billion in revenue within one month, over 2,000 media reports and 215 million views on videos that captured the UAE’s beauty and the impact of teamwork," Sheikh Mohammed said on Twitter.
“Next winter, we will launch a bigger and better campaign on December 15, 2021 as the world begins to recover from the pandemic. Thanks to the Ministry of Economy, the UAE Government Media Office and local tourism entities for the successful domestic campaign.”
As part of the push to get more people to sample the sights on their doorstep, the Emirates Tourism app was rolled out to help guide both domestic and international tourists to more than 600 hotspots across the Emirates and showcase hundreds of exclusive deals in hotels, restaurants and other tourist attractions.
Mohammed Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs, said the campaign put the spotlight on the array of amenities across the country, from shimmering five-star hotels to beauty spots off the beaten track and new destinations such as Sharjah's Khor Fakkan Amphitheatre.
“The World’s Coolest Winter campaign marked the beginning of a solid collaboration among federal and local tourism entities that succeeded in bringing people together, citizens and residents, to discover the UAE’s hidden gems, especially after a critical time that created physical distance,” he said.
"The overwhelming response to the campaign helped frame the UAE in a new light, and we look forward to bigger campaigns in the future to support the local economy.”
Ahmad Al Falasi, Minister of State for Entrepreneurship and SMEs, said the enterprising project helped to increase hotel occupancy rates by 17 per cent.
“World’s Coolest Winter has truly captured the values of the UAE as it united people from over 190 nationalities towards exploring the country," he said.
"It revealed the tolerance and harmony that people live by in the UAE, a country that combines rich culture and heritage with high quality of life and modernity.”