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Monday, 18 November, 2019, 10 : 15 AM [IST]

Dubai Tourism confident of closing the year with slight on-year growth in Indian visitor number despite difficult conditions

City’s Tourism to activate all channels to sell Expo 2020 tickets across the globe
Despite difficult conditions, especially on the air capacity front due to the abrupt withdrawal of Jet Airways from the market, Dubai Tourism is hopeful of closing the year on a positive note when it comes to Indian arrival numbers.  According to Issam Kazim, CEO, Dubai Tourism, although the capacity constraints has had a negative effect for a brief while, the same got corrected and normalcy being achieved sooner than later which helped Dubai to recover ground and post a marginal 3% growth in Indian visitor numbers to the city in the first half of the year.

India, he said, is a very important market for Dubai Tourism and therefore the Tourism Authority keeps reinventing its marketing and promotion strategy to keep active round the year. “We have moved from a seasonal strategy to a horizontal marketing strategy with relevant campaigns throughout the year. We cannot afford to switch off our campaigns in a market like India,” he said elaborating different activities like school-break campaigns, monsoon campaign, luxury break campaign, Diwali campaign, etc.

Attributing the success of Dubai’s tourism to the highly collaborative PPP model, the CEO said that the city state has been able to achieve the goals of the Tourism Strategy set in 2013 because of this collaborative approach with the private industry.  He cited the new incentive scheme of 10% waiver in municipality fee for first 5 years for investors who set up in 3 and 4 star hotels to make more affordable inventory available for Expo2020 as an example for this collaborative approach. Dubai has moved from 7th position in 2013 in terms of international tourist numbers to number 4 in 2018 (10 million in 2013 to 16 million in 2018) among cities of the world, he added.

Sharing the preparations that are underway for the Expo2020, the global event which Dubai is hosting from October 20, 2020 to April 10, 2021, the CEO said that all preparations are on schedule in District 22 to make the Expo the biggest ever with participation of 192 countries. Many festivals are scheduled around Expo2020. There will be 250 days of offers and deals to attract shopping enthusiasts from nearby regions including India, he added.

Sharing more details about the Expo 2020, Sanjive Khosla, Chief Commercial Officer, Expo2020 expressed the confidence that the event will become one of the greatest shows on earth which is happening for the first time in the larger Middle East, Africa and South Asia region. He said that they are expecting 25 million visitors to the Expo over a period of 6 months with an average footfall of 1.40 lakh people each day.  The Expo area is planned to hold 3 lakh visitors in a day, he said.  Khosla said that they expect around 17 to 18% visitations to the Expo from India.

Talking about the same, he said that there will be 20 performance venues at the Expo with a capacity ranging from 200 to 20,000 pax. When asked about the few of the attractions within the Expo area, Khosla said that a 65-m high 360-degree Dome at the Centre of the Expo will be one of the key attractions, followed by Sustainability pavilion, other thematic pavilions and pavilions of all the participating 192 countries.

Khosla said that the Test runs of some of the key components shaping the Expo2020 will start from April 2021.  Expo2020 has already appointed 1,300 ticket resellers globally. He said that the effort is on to engage as many ticket resellers as possible in markets like India. The commissions for ticket reselling will be based on the volumes, he added.
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