the interview of the CEO of the Dubai tourism office, Issam Kazim

Dubai has become an important tourist destination over the past 10 years, what are your plans to develop tourism in the coming years?

Issam Kazim : ” Tourism has always been one of the pillars of our economy, so we have been working in this sector for a long time. Unlike most countries in the Middle East, our economy is indeed not based on oil.

Thus, tourism and trade have always been the main drivers of our GDP. And it is thanks to this guideline that we managed to reach 10 million visitors to Dubai in 2013. We have therefore defined a very clear strategy to keep these 10 million tourists and attract even more…

And if you look at our promotional campaigns today, we are active in over 50 markets. We have also done a lot of work on social networks by setting up content available in 22 languages.

The message we wanted to convey is that Dubai is a diverse destination with a lot of visits and discoveries to do. The destination therefore deserves to stay there at least 10 days and not just for two or three days.

And, in fact, visitors who discover Dubai for the first time are often so amazed and pleasantly surprised that they become natural ambassadors and many of them return. We therefore worked on the perception that visitors could have of Dubai to broaden their perspectives, far from a priori.

Beyond the monuments and key sites of the city such as the Burj Khalifa, Burj Al Arab or the island of the Palm, Dubai indeed has a lot to offer:
culture through old Dubai and the museums of the historic districts of Al Fahidi, the natural site of Hatta which is a lake surrounded by mountains where you can practice water activities, the Dubai desert and its unspoiled areas, gastronomy diversified thanks to the 200 nationalities of the expatriate community (which represents the majority of the population of Dubai) and that of the Emirati …

So there is certainly the glamorous Dubai that everyone knows, but the destination is not just that. It is much more interesting and diverse than what we too often imagine when we have never been there.

Our strategy, which consists of making people discover “the real Dubai” has proved successful in many markets. For example, France was the 11th country in terms of visitors to Dubai before the covid is now in fifth place! ”

Is Dubai a Safe Destination During the Pandemic?

Issam Kazim : ” Dubai is really safe. Besides, if you ask visitors right now or expats who live here, they will all tell you that they feel safe here and that they would not wish they were anywhere else during this pandemic.

We have indeed managed the covid crisis rather well. We made strict containment at the start of the pandemic in the spring of 2020 and then, once we regained control of the situation, we began to reopen the country safely and gradually first to domestic tourism and then to international. And today the country is open to foreign visitors with a pcr test of less than 72 hours.

On the hygiene side, you should know that in Dubai, hotels, restaurants and public places are constantly disinfected and you find hydroalcoholic gel absolutely everywhere. Finally, everyone wears the mask in a very disciplined manner without the authorities needing to intervene. ”

Is Dubai a destination for the rich?

Issam Kazim: ” Absolutely not and it is really a misconception. Certainly, if you want luxury, you will find it in Dubai of course. But, in reality, you can travel to Dubai regardless of your budget. Today our offer of 3-star and 4-star hotels is really accessible to everyone, including families.. ”

How are you preparing for the World Expo which will take place in Dubai from October 2021?

Issam Kazim: “We are delighted to organize this global event. It is the biggest event the UAE has ever hosted.

And since the Expo will last six months, this will allow us to further promote the destination to visitors from all over the world, not to mention the representatives of more than 190 countries participating in the Expo. ”

More information :
https://www.visitdubai.com/fr/

Janelle B. Smith

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