Who’re the new glo­be­trot­ters?

Dubai aims to boost the num­bers from In­dia by con­duct­ing road­shows and events in Tier II, III cities across the coun­try, as well as through its Dubai Ex­perts pro­gramme for agents.

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Dubai recorded more than 1.5 mil­lion In­dian vis­i­tors from Jan­uary to Oc­to­ber in 2018. Khalid Al Awar, Man­ager—In­dia & Pak­istan, In­ter­na­tional Op­er­a­tions, Dubai Tourism, elab­o­rated, “We con­tinue to see growth from this mar­ket and have thus trav­elled to many Tier-II cities in In­dia. We con­ducted road­shows and events in 11 cities along with al­most 20 stake­hold­ers and com­pa­nies from Dubai rang­ing from ho­tels, at­trac­tions, DMCs and other com­pa­nies. We ex­plored mar­kets that have di­rect con­nec­tiv­ity to Dubai

and have huge po­ten­tial for growth that have not been ex­plored oth­er­wise. We have gone to cities like Ahmed­abad, Pune, Jaipur, Lucknow and we plan to con­tinue do­ing that for 2019 too.”

Shar­ing more plans for the year, Al Awar is com­mit­ted on fo­cus­ing on myr­iad of­fer­ings that Dubai has for ev­ery travel seg­ment. “Fam­i­lies are a pri­or­ity be­cause Dubai of­fers va­ri­ety to this seg­ment in­clud­ing theme parks and at­trac­tions. Other of­fer­ings like gas­tron­omy is also big in Dubai with more than 200 na­tion­al­i­ties liv­ing in the city, all of and cui­sine to the emi­rate. Be­sides, we have wit­nessed num­ber of women trav­ellers as Dubai is one of the safest des­ti­na­tions in the world. Apart from that, ad­ven­ture is an­other grow­ing seg­ment, and trav­ellers from In­dia now look for des­ti­na­tions where they want to in­dulge in the most chal­leng­ing ac­tiv­i­ties.”

On the ease of get­ting visas for Indians, he men­tioned that the new reg­u­la­tions which came into ef­fect last year will be im­ple­mented this year. “Visas will be free for two chil­dren un­der the age of 18 trav­el­ling with par­ents. Their visa fee will be waived off for the months July to Septem­ber. Also, the new VAT refund pol­icy al­lows peo­ple to claim VAT refund on any pur­chases they made at the air­port as well as at cer­tain points in the city.”

The tar­get for tourist ar­rivals to Dubai was pro­jected at 20 mil­lion by 2020 in line with the up­com­ing Expo 2020. “We will also have a new strat­egy that looks at 25 mil­lion vis­i­tors by 2025. To­day, the share of the In­dian mar­ket is in line with the 2017 num­bers, where In­dia con­trib­uted to 13 per cent of to­tal vis­i­tors,” claimed Al Awar.

In an ef­fort to keep the num­bers grow­ing, Dubai will con­tinue to work very closely with the travel trade. “The Dubai Ex­perts pro­gramme that as a Dubai Ex­pert, is be­ing pitched in the In­dian mar­ket too,” he said.isadding

Khalid Al Awar Man­ager—In­dia & Pak­istan In­ter­na­tional Op­er­a­tions, Dubai Tourism

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