Dubai, UAE, 15 March 2015: Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) and more than 80 of its partners from the Emirate’s ever-growing tourism industry recently returned from exhibiting at ITB 2015 in Berlin, which took place from 4-8 March with this year’s edition attracting a total of 175,000 visitors, and 10,096 exhibitors from 186 countries. DTCM highlighted how the Emirate is continuously enhancing its offerings both in the short and long term, and why Dubai is increasingly a top choice among leisure and business travellers from across the globe.
Top of the agenda was the promotion of Dubai’s enhanced destination content, and DTCM used its impressive 526-square-metre stand at ITB to showcase Dubai 360 – an online interactive tour fully launched in January 2015 that allows viewers to explore Dubai from the comfort of their own home. Developed over an 18-month period and utilising 1,298 pieces of panoramic video and photo content, Dubai 360 was featured at the Dubai stand using special, immersive ocular technology, giving visitors the chance to virtually discover Dubai and experience different parts of the city and its adventure activities.
Another key DTCM focus at ITB was the promotion of Dubai as a year-round destination, with its beaches, attractions, hotels and experiences enjoyed not only in the cooler months, but also in summer – a season that boasts great-value offers and discounts, a plethora of events and a host of indoor family entertainment activities. With summer also currently coinciding with the Islamic holy month of Ramadan and the subsequent Eid Al Fitr festival, DTCM collaborated with the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding (SMCCU), whose representatives were on hand at the Dubai stand to address any culture-related questions throughout ITB. Striving to raise awareness of the local culture, customs and religion of Dubai and the UAE, and with an overall objective of improving cross-cultural understanding and communication, the SMCCU proved the perfect partner, and the Centre’s three briefing sessions during ITB, aimed at demystifying Ramadan and discussing Dubai culture in general, were well received by audiences.
Nasif Kayed, Managing Director, Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding, said: “SMCCU was pleased and honoured to collaborate with DTCM in promoting Dubai by presenting our true Emirati history and culture at ITB 2015. SMCCU is striving to remove the barriers between people of different nationalities to promote a peaceful co-existence, through tolerance, acceptance and understanding one another. Creating a base for a new world where East meets West and civilizations come together fostering human creativity regardless of geographic, ethnic and religious boundaries. Our sole aim is to welcome non-Emiratis to the UAE culture and give them a chance to truly integrate within Emirati society.
“ITB 2015 offered an amazing chance for interested visitors to engage with the Emirati culture. German attendees of the SMCCU seminars held at the DTCM stand, were keen to discover the reasons behind cultural behaviour patterns, religious practises and traditional customs through discussions, highlighting similarities as well as differences in the German and Emirati culture.”
Ahead of ITB, DTCM announced its 2014 Hotel Establishment statistics, which registered a 5.6 percent year-on-year increase in the number of visitors as well as significant advances across all key indicators. Dubai’s hotel supply swelled by 46 properties and 7,799 rooms over the course of 2014, with the inventory of three- and four-star hotels growing thanks to the introduction of new mid-market hotel regulations and incentives. In light of the resulting increase in budget-conscious tourists visiting Dubai, DTCM used ITB to firmly position the Emirate as an affordable destination, demonstrating its extensive array of excellent, low-cost attractions and activities – many of which are entirely free.
With an eye on the recent devaluation of the euro against the dollar, to which the UAE dirham is pegged, and recognising the resulting challenge of increased competition for travel and tourism within the Eurozone, DTCM and its Dubai stakeholders showcased a range of competitively-priced value packages.
Displaying an alternative perspective on Dubai, DTCM featured and promoted Dubai Tourism’s new website and mobile app, which offer a significantly enhanced user experience as well as rich destination content designed for multiple audiences. In addition to the Dubai 360 content, hugely popular #MyDubai initiative, launched at the start of 2014 with the aim of showcasing the experiences of the residents and the visitors to the Emirate, was also showcased at the Dubai stand, with visitors encouraged to discover and use the memorable hashtag themselves.
Anita Mehra, VP Communications & Business Development, Dubai Airports, commented: “Dubai Airports participated at ITB 2015 in partnership with DTCM. Details of the imminent opening of Concourse D, the new state-of-the-art home at DXB for all airlines, and the $32 billion master plan for DWC/Al Maktoum International were presented to the aviation press, and we received great interest in the development of Dubai’s airports. Important discussions with European airlines interested in adding Dubai to their route network were also held. Interest to visit Dubai was very evident among ITB visitors from all over the world, and the many innovative digital engagement platforms at the DTCM stand were used to communicate the Dubai story to great effect.”
Mr Thomas Grundner, Head of Sales & Marketing, Meydan Hotels & Hospitality, said: “ITB Berlin is a key exhibition for Meydan Hotels & Hospitality, as Europe is one of our core feeder markets. As the world’s first and only five-star trackside hotel, The Meydan Hotel generates much interest amongst horse-loving countries. Bab Al Shams, as the very first desert resort concept to launch in UAE in 2004, offers an authentic desert experience that is true to traditional Arabian heritage.”
For information on DTCM, visit http://www.visitdubai.com/.