Visitor Centre aims to attract Mideast tourists

The new visitor centre in Dubai.

A new Britain Visitor Centre has been set up in Dubai by the British Tourist Authority (BTA) to provide visitors from the region a comprehensive tourism information service.

The centre, which will be officially inaugurated in April next year, is however now open for business offering a wide range of services and products related to British tourism to both the travel trade and the general public in the region.

It is the latest in a chain of centres which BTA is setting up around the world as part of its strategy to boost tourism to Britain, and it comes in line with its on-going commitment to Middle East market. The Britain Visitor Centre provides a wide choice of over 80 travel brochures with information on every area of the UK and a 61-inch monitor will constantly screen videos highlighting destinations and tourist attractions throughout Britain, said BTA's regional media and public relations manager Mohammed Mansoor.

Visitors to the centre will be able to use the touch-screen monitors providing instant access to the Britain Tourism website,, which has approximately 75,000 pages of travel and tourism information about Britain.

Experienced Arabic and English speaking travel consultants are on hand at the centre to advise and make suggestions about itineraries and make sure that the customer gets the perfect holiday in the UK.

The centre is located at the British Council building in Dubai, below Al Maktoum Bridge. The centre is open from Saturday to Thursday from 9am to 5pm.

The new centre is one of the several ways in which the Dubai-based regional office works closely with the travel trade in the region to promote more British travel and tourism products and services.

The authority also works with the regional media to regularly promote Britain and provide Middle Eastern visitors to Britain with the latest travel and tourism information about the country.

Mansoor says the BTA's main tasks in the region are to:

  • Communicate effectively with present and potential customers;

  • Raise the profile of Britain in the key markets including UAE and Saudi Arabia;

  • Generate the desire among Arabs to visit Britain;

  • Work in partnership with the travel trade to develop packages and products; and

  • Monitor and communicate local customers' preferences and needs to the tourism industry in Britain through close collaboration with the national tourist boards, local authorities and other major stakeholders and players.

    Mansoor said BTA remained confident of the Middle East market despite the double blow this year from the foot and mouth outbreak and the terror attacks in the US.

    He said Britain welcomed 25.2 million visitors last year who spent £12.8 billion. From the Middle East, 446,000 visitors went to Britain and spent £757 million.

    At least 53 per cent of the total Middle East visitors to Britain come from UAE and Saudi Arabia with the remaining from other GCC and Arab countries.

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