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.
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