Dubai bid to widen market
Dubai aims to secure 600,000 additional guest nights from the world meetings market by 2008, a senior Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing official has said."We have set ourselves a clear-cut target of attaining around 600,000 additional guest nights from the potential international rotating meetings market by 2008 generating cumulative revenues for Dubai's hotels in excess of $200 million," said DTCM director operations and marketing, Mohammed Khamis bin Hareb. Guest nights at Dubai's hotel establishments in the year ending December 2001 were over 9.1 million (inclusive of both business and leisure visitors) registering a growth of around 4 per cent over 2000 figures. Bin Hareb also said the Dubai Convention Bureau would be fully operational by August 1. He was speaking at the European Incentive and Business Travel Meetings (EIBTM) in Geneva, the world's premier meetings and business travel show. "The establishment of the Dubai Convention Bureau underscores the government's commitment to the tourism industry as a whole and the importance we attach to the business travel segment," said Bin Hareb. He noted that the DTCM had since commissioned a comprehensive study to gauge the meeting and convention sector and gather market intelligence before putting together a plan of action to sell Dubai aggressively as a business travel destination. The Dubai Convention Bureau will form part of the operation of the DTCM and will function autonomously from an independent location in Dubai. "The bureau will carry out all international bids on behalf of the emirate for attracting events to Dubai. It will conduct research on an ongoing basis about international and national associations and arrange for potential international associations to come to Dubai for site inspections," said Bin Hareb. DTCM manager events, Awadh Al Seghayer added, "Dubai Convention Bureau will carry out comprehensive promotional activities that relate to Dubai as a meetings and conventions destination and organise and participate in trade shows, workshops and road shows. "It will also prepare all collateral to promote Dubai as a leading business tourism destination." Bin Hareb also said the 57-strong contingent of exhibitors participating under the DTCM umbrella had received a remarkable response at the show.