Sharjah’s Orient Tours celebrates 25 years
UAE-BASED inbound tour operator, Orient Tours, has been in business for a quarter of century this month.
It was the first company to enter this market segment, according to the company’s chairman, Shaikh Faisal bin Khalid Sultan Al Qassemi.
He said that Orient Tours has managed more than one million in-bound tourists to date, and is now gearing for the next wave of demand.
“New markets, particularly Asian and Far Eastern travellers, are looking for a taste of Arabia, and mature markets, such as the UK and Germany, are eager to experience our new-era leisure infrastructure that is fast becoming reality,” he said.
Shaikh Faisal established Orient Tours in 1982 when Dubai and Abu Dhabi each had just three international hotels. Recently, Dubai was quoted as having 40-plus, five-star properties and more than 22,000 additional rooms scheduled for opening in 2008.
Shaikh Faisal believes that while the untapped corners of Arabia give the industry plenty of room to grow, but innovation in delivery is crucial. “The Middle East is fast becoming one of the world’s most sought after tourist destinations and Orient Tours wants to play an increasingly important part of this growth.”
He said that the region is earmarked as a growth leader by the World Tourism Organisation and the World Travel and Tourism Council and that, by default, the in-bound tourism sector too is set for growth.
“The region is poised for another 25 years of tourism growth and Orient Tours is geared to product innovation, delivering eco-responsible tourism that pushes the boundaries of Arabian hospitality, and thus exceeding customer expectations.”
He stressed that it is the industry’s responsibility to ensure the sustainability of the destination as a desirable product. He confirmed that this has encouraged his team to drive growth through constant product innovation particularly in this silver anniversary year.
“Some might argue that we have limited options as we look to further develop as a sought-after leisure destination. However, the bottom line is that the authentic Arabian experience belongs to us, so it’s up to us to be creative at all times and thus ensure sustainable product that has a global appeal,” he said.
Orient Tours employs more than 150 team members and has engaged with numerous strategic partners across a variety of markets and services.