Dubai helped by Europe proximity


Dubai’s strategic location as the closest ‘long-haul’ destination to Europe is helping the emirate to secure increased incentive travel, according to the industry’s top official.

Speaking at a recent incentive travel conference co-sponsored by the Government of Dubai Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing, Roger Tondeur said that Dubai and Mauritius were the top two destinations outside of Europe from the UK in particular. These two destinations have displaced areas such as the Caribbean and Canary Islands.
The president of the Society of Incentive Travel Executives said there was a huge opportunity for Dubai in the European market.
At the same time, Tondeur said Dubai was the nearest city that was considered ‘exotic’ that could be reached without flying too far.
His view was endorsed by Michael Scully, general manager of Le Meridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina, a Dubai beach hotel that has achieved considerable success in courting the incentive and meetings sector.
Scully said: “While there was a retraction in incentive travel in 2002, last year we were optimistic at the beginnings of a revival, and in 2004, we are receiving exceptional levels of interest from organisers.
“The spread of hotel accommodation in Dubai means we can cater to all levels of business now.”