‘We work hand in hand with private sector’

DTCM’s Eyad Ali Abdul Rahman talks to KEITH J FERNANDEZ about promoting Dubai
Abdul Rahman .... ‘DTCM has helped enhance standards in the hospitality business’

AS the engine of the region’s growth, Dubai’s tourism industry is witnessing a fast-paced growth like none other.

This involves much effort on the part of the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), which directs the execution of the emirate’s tourism vision. DTCM manager media relations, Eyad Ali Abdul Rahman spoke to TTN about how the department functions. Excerpts from an interview:

Dubai’s tourism industry has been recording fantastic growth year-on-year. How do you evaluate the performance of the hospitality industry?
Our performance in early 2004 has been remarkable and we have posted a 49.4 per cent increase in hotel establishment revenues and 9.4 per cent increase in hotel guests in the first half of 2004.
It would be safe to say that Dubai’s hospitality industry is on par with the best in the world. The DTCM has played a pro-active role and helped enhance quality standards in the hospitality business over the years. We work hand in hand with the private sector and through combined and diligent efforts we capitalise on opportunities to build a strong industry. As the department responsible for tourism in the emirate, we bear a special responsibility to ensure that constant growth is maintained, and the tourism industry’s optimal potential is achieved.

How close is the relationship between the DTCM and the private sector in the hospitality industry?
We encourage better understanding between the public and private sectors and have opened the channels for two-way communication through various forums such as the Hotel and Hotel Apartment Group and the Travel and Tourism Group thereby promoting a better understanding. We understand that the tourism industry as a whole stands to benefit from an increased interaction between the public and private sector.
The DTCM acts as an umbrella organisation and leads Dubai delegations to participate in leading travel trade and consumer travel exhibitions and roadshows around the world. Dubai’s public and private sector industry exhibits under the DTCM’s stand projecting a strong and unified message for Dubai.

Could you highlight some of Dubai’s salient features that have helped make the destination so popular?
Dubai extends a warm welcome to holiday makers as well as business visitors, offering facilities of the highest international standard combined with the charm and adventure of the Middle East – an exceptional blend of modern city and timeless desert.

How do you rate Dubai as a shopping destination?
The Dubai shopping scene offers something for everyone. Apart from competitively-priced electronic products, watches, cameras and other international items it also boasts a range of popular traditional gifts. Gold, the traditional wealth standard of the east, is another of the city’s best-buys.
Dubai’s shopping potential extends right up to the journey home. First opened in 1983, Dubai Duty Free Shopping Complex has won a number of international awards and is recognised in the industry and by the travelling public alike as offering a superlative range of high-quality products at unbeatable prices. 

What can an international visitor learn from the people of Dubai?
Dubai has a centuries old tradition of diyafah or Arabian hospitality and extends a warm welcome to holidaymakers as well as business visitors. This is an inherent trait that leaves an indelible impression on visitors.