The Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) has provided a positive outlook of the industry at a meeting held with key stakeholders and partners. The meeting highlighted the robust new safety measures deployed across sectors and new initiatives taken to further enhance the city’s position as a safe destination for global travellers.
Given the strong momentum created by a second half rebound in 2020, the meeting also explored ways of building on the gains during 2021, a landmark year that will feature the UAE’s 50th anniversary celebrations and the region’s first World Expo hosted by the UAE. Presided by His Excellency Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General, Dubai Tourism, the meeting was held as part of regular dialogue with key industry leaders, paving the way for Dubai Tourism to exchange insights with stakeholders and work with them in aligning on initiatives and strategies.
HE Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General, Dubai Tourism, commented:
“Under the guidance and visionary leadership of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, our commitment to safeguard the health and wellbeing of citizens, residents and visitors formed the cornerstone of our recovery strategy since the start of the pandemic. While we are encouraged by the success of the strong safety procedures deployed across all tourism touchpoints, we will continue to proactively update safety protocols in the hospitality, tourism and travel sectors in accordance with the changing situation. We are deeply appreciative of the latest precautionary measures established by Dubai’s Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management, allowing us to further intensify efforts in cooperation with our stakeholders and partners to ensure Dubai remains open and maintains its position as one of the world’s safest destinations.”
Dubai Tourism also provided an update on the steady progress made since the reopening of the city to international tourists last July, the local and global impact of the pandemic, future industry trends and global marketing initiatives. It was pointed out that the UAE has one of the world’s most effective test and trace programmes and is currently ranked among the top five nations globally in terms of overall vaccine rollout.
The meeting also observed that the pace of the global industry revival in 2021 will be highly dependent on the evolving COVID-19 situation, particularly noting the recent travel restrictions in several countries, as well as the speed of economic recovery in key source markets.
Dubai launched the ‘DUBAI ASSURED’ stamp, a compliance programme to certify and recognise hotels and other establishments across the tourism ecosystem that have implemented all public health protocols. Inspectors of Dubai Tourism, Department of Economic Development and Dubai Municipality are also taking a zero tolerance approach to ensure full compliance with the wide range of guidelines that have been outlined by Dubai’s Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management. The successful citywide management of the pandemic received a strong endorsement from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) which gave the city a ‘Safe Travels’ stamp.
The stakeholders were unanimous that there was positive sentiment surrounding Dubai as a key destination and reaffirmed their commitment to support the industry, including the strict implementation of health and safety protocols in collaboration with Dubai Tourism.
Paul Griffiths, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Airports, said:
“Air transport is key to the global mobility necessary for social and economic recovery. Dubai Airports and its stakeholders in the aviation industry have taken enormous steps to ensure that the highest standards of health and safety protocols are followed throughout the passenger journey to provide the reassurance that travellers can fly with confidence. We will continue to position Dubai in the lead of the recovery of global aviation with more than 146 cities in 80 countries already being served by 56 airlines, retaining our position as the world’s busiest international airport.”
Mohammad Al Hashmi, VP Commercial Products Dubai, Emirates, said:
“The health and wellbeing of our customers and employees remain our top priorities. Emirates continues to work closely with the authorities and our industry partners to offer travellers a safe and enjoyable experience. Travellers can be assured that the comprehensive bio-safety measures implemented at Emirates, and across the Dubai tourism eco-system, are regularly reviewed and updated to reflect the latest best practice and health guidance.”
Jochem-Jan Sleiffer, President, Middle East, Africa & Turkey at Hilton, said:
“DTCM has gone to great lengths to work alongside industry stakeholders in ensuring measures are put in place to keep visitors safe as international travel has returned in recent months. We've seen these efforts reflected across our diverse portfolio of Hilton branded hotels in the UAE, all of which operate the Hilton CleanStay and Event Ready programmes to provide optimal standards of cleanliness and hygiene.”
José Silva, CEO Jumeirah Group added:
“There is a direct correlation between the performance of the hospitality sector and the collaborative efforts to protect the health and safety of our guests and our people. Dubai has led a consistent campaign throughout the pandemic, prioritising health and safety and steered our nation towards an earlier than anticipated rebound. However, now is not the time for complacency. We must continue to ensure compliance with all precautionary measures, especially in the upcoming months, to sustain demand for Dubai’s diverse destination propositions across domestic and international markets.”
Mark Willis Chief Executive Officer, Accor, said:
“It’s super to see a positive booking trend in Q1 2021 vs. Q3 & Q4 2020. As we look forward, Dubai continues to trend positively with demand in March looking increasingly solid. This is clearly driven by the sound safety measures put in place by the government and the desire to travel to one of the top leisure destinations in the world.”
Philippe Zuber, CEO of Kerzner International, said:
“Performance has been strong right across our portfolio, including One&Only The Palm and One&Only Royal Mirage, as well as Atlantis, The Palm. We are proud to be able to offer a variety of experiences, with the highest health and safety protocols, during this unique time of travel and tourism in Dubai.”
Mohamed Jassim Al Rais, Deputy Managing Director, Al Rais, said:
“Dubai continues to be a popular destination of choice, not only with holidaymakers from all corners of the world but also with business travellers. As the contribution of players in the tourism community is crucial for recovery, Al Rais will continue to support the efforts of Dubai Tourism to herald a new era and create a more resilient industry, while working towards the common goal of positioning Dubai as a safe global destination.”