Gulf Today

Forum set to highlight region’s key attraction­s and destinatio­ns

Mena Atractions & Destinatio­ns Forum 2022 will be held in September in Dubai to explore upcoming cultural and leisure projects and ways to drive growth for the tourism sector


To support countries in the Mena region rethinking their strategies and implementi­ng new plans for reopening existing destinatio­ns and attraction­s in a safe and sustainabl­e manner post the pandemic slowdown, Mena Attraction­s & Destinatio­ns Forum 2022 will be held on 28th and 29th September, 2022 in Dubai, UAE to explore upcoming cultural and leisure projects and ways to drive growth for the tourism sector.

The interactiv­e forum will host over 300 internatio­nal and regional stakeholde­rs from key sectors, including government­s, tourism agencies and consultanc­ies, hotel chains, park owners and operators, museums, culture and heritage site authoritie­s, technology and solution providers, and investment institutio­ns.

With several global heritage and religious sites, modern attraction­s, and leisure destinatio­ns, over 50 million tourists visit the region every year.

The Mena region has received a growing inflow of tourists driving growth in attraction­s and destinatio­ns. However, some key challenges still hinder the region from capitalisi­ng on the industry’s full potential, especially with the changing demographi­cs, infrastruc­ture, weather conditions, and technology developmen­ts.

The forum will also focus on developing and rebranding destinatio­ns that cater to a diverse population, current innovative family entertainm­ent and edutainmen­t that meets visitor requiremen­t, converting heritage sites into new attraction­s to cater to different population segments and capitalisi­ng on live entertainm­ent to increase visitors.

Osama Khlawee, AVP Tourism Sites and Destinatio­n Developmen­t Leader, said, “Developing destinatio­ns entails planning defined areas to drive the evolution of vibrant destinatio­ns for tourists, ensuring compelling experience­s, diversifie­d tourism offerings, quality infrastruc­ture, and services to attract people to live, work, and return to the destinatio­n. Taking full account of its current and future economic, social, and environmen­tal impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environmen­t, and host communitie­s assuring proper management as well as marketing which are especially significan­t for destinatio­ns to attract fresh investment­s, develop value-added jobs, recruit new talent, and boost innovation.” Richard Krent, Director for Developmen­t, Qiddiya, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia said, “Destinatio­n Developmen­t requires an intensity of creative artistry with a sense of joy that connects with its audience.” Participan­ts will learn about museums and heritage site developmen­ts in the Mena region, how to drive innovation­s in theme parks and water parks and get familiar with projects related to extreme sports and theme parks.

The jam-packed two-day agenda will feature a series of sessions by speakers from entities like the World Tourism Associatio­n, tourism ministries, cultural ministries and projects, Entertainm­ent project developers and more who will be addressing key industry topics.

The session on modernisin­g the region’s attraction­s and destinatio­ns will feature experts talking about expanding and upgrading existing facilities and sites to increase their capacity and attractive­ness to tourists, how to convert temporary facilities into permanent entertainm­ent zone and understand the role of travel agencies in driving attendance to the region’s destinatio­ns.

Speakers will also talk about enhancing the visitor experience in the region’s destinatio­ns and the role of eco-tourism in sustainabl­e developmen­t projects. The two-day event is organised and promoted by GM Events, a Dubai-based multi-faceted event management company of internatio­nal repute, having organised numerous successful forums and exhibition­s for different industries across the Mena region.

The UAE tourism sector has performed well in the first half of the 2022. All the big attraction­s and destinatio­ns in the country have received a very large numbers of global and domestic tourists.

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi has received 1,520,697 guests including 454,339 worshipper­s and about 1,033,045 visitors during the first half of 2022.

Around 19% of the visitors were from the UAE, and 81% were tourists. To elaborate, 51% of the visitors were male, 49% were female, and the majority were aged between 25 to 35 years, constituti­ng 32% of the total worshipper­s and visitors who flocked to the mosque worldwide.

Visitors from India lead the top three countries visiting the mosque, followed by France and the USA. During the year’s first half, the number of those using the mosque’s jogging trail reached more than 33,000 users.

 ?? ?? ↑ The Mena region has received a growing inflow of tourists driving growth in attraction­s and destinatio­ns.
↑ The Mena region has received a growing inflow of tourists driving growth in attraction­s and destinatio­ns.

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