‘World’s Coolest Winter’ Campaign Bolsters UAE’s Position as a Top Global Touristic Destination

‘World’s Coolest Winter’ Campaign Bolsters UAE’s Position as a Top Global Touristic Destination

UAE ministers and officials in local and federal government entities reaffirmed that the 4th season of ‘World’s Coolest Winter’ campaign represents a key milestone in cementing the UAE’s position at the forefront of global tourism.

This year’s campaign was launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, on January 9 under the slogan ‘Unforgettable Stories.’

Ministers and officials underlined the importance of the ‘World’s Coolest Winter’ campaign, implemented by the Ministry of Economy with the support of the UAE Government Media Office and in cooperation with various bodies concerned with tourism, culture, and heritage, in showcasing cultural and heritage landmarks that are distinctive to the UAE.

The nationwide campaign presents a wide range of options that cater to the diverse interests of domestic tourists and international travelers and leave unforgettable moments in their memories about the UAE.

Officials also stressed on the campaign’s pivotal role in bolstering the sense of belonging and connection to the UAE as a place and highlighting the key touristic attractions of each emirate, especially during the mild winter season that distinguishes the country.

The campaign is part of the ambitious projects that aim to promote tourism as a promising sector, which helps attract more international companies to the UAE’s markets and create new job opportunities for national cadres that stimulate national economic growth and strengthen the UAE’s global competitiveness.

Abdullah bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy, said the ‘World’s Coolest Winter’ campaign stimulates investments in tourism projects in the UAE and boosts the sector's contribution to the national economy in line with the National Tourism Strategy 2031.

He added:

“The fourth edition of the Coolest Winter campaign contributes to familiarizing the world with the leading tourism experiences offered by the UAE, as well as the cultural, recreational, natural, and historic treasures that characterize them. The campaign also aims to boost investment in tourism projects within the country, and support the growth of revenues in the travel, hospitality and aviation sectors, thereby increasing their contribution to the national economy.”

He noted the importance of the campaign in promoting the country’s tourism diversity by highlighting its diverse activities and premium tourism products that cater to the interests of local visitors and international tourists alike. This contributes to attracting all segments of domestic tourists through promotional events and initiatives, which revitalizes the economy and growth rates further enhancing the competitiveness of the tourism sector at the regional and global levels.

The UAE ranks among the top 10 countries globally in several competitiveness indicators linked to the tourism, travel, and hotel sectors.

Bin Touq noted that the past three editions of the ‘World’s Coolest Winter’ campaign, first launched in 2020, represented an important step towards achieving the goals of the National Tourism Strategy 2031 to attract AED 100 billion as additional investments in the tourism sector and raise its contribution to GDP by AED 450 billion by the next decade, raising the country's status as the best tourism identity in the world.

The Minister stated that the figures recorded by the campaign in its third edition will inspire more efforts and achievements. The total revenues of hotel facilities amounted to AED 1.8 billion, an increase of 20% compared to the second edition of the campaign, and the third edition attracted 1.4 million local tourists, an increase of 8% compared to the second edition.

Saeed Al Eter, Chair of the UAE Government Media Office, said the ‘World’s Coolest Winter’ campaign presents an exceptional opportunity to drive further growth in the tourism sector and promote the distinctive features of the UAE, which boasts ecological diversity, rich historical sites, unique cultural and heritage elements, and warm hospitality that offer an unforgettable visitor experience.

He noted that the UAE’s winter season transforms every corner of the UAE into an attractive spot for domestic visitors and tourists.

Al Eter said:

“The remarkable success witnessed in the campaign’s past three seasons are the outcome of the joint efforts of local and federal government entities in collaboration with authorities running promotional programmes and campaigns. This cooperation is gaining additional momentum this year as the UAE Government Media Office is keen to strengthen coordination among the campaign’s organizers across the seven emirates and unify efforts to deliver a positive image of our country.”

He added:

“This year’s slogan ‘Unforgettable Stories’ carries profound meanings and connotations about making the visitor experience filled with moments of awe, discovery, adventure, and entertainment that form stories and images captured on international media platforms. The slogan ideally reflects the campaign’s main objective to make every detail of the trip around the UAE memorable and inspire tourists to return to the country for another visit as soon as possible, further consolidating the UAE’s standing as a top touristic destination globally.”

Saleh Mohammed Al Geziry, Director General of Tourism at The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), said:

“Promoting the UAE as one global destination, ‘The World’s Coolest Winter’ campaign further underscores the nation as a thriving global hub for business and leisure travel. Whether you’re a culture enthusiast, a sports fan, a food connoisseur, an adrenaline seeker, or a music lover, Abu Dhabi has a range of activities that encourage visitors to experience the emirate at their own pace. Through our collective efforts, we are building an infrastructure that fosters the sustainable growth of the leisure, hospitality and tourism industries, anchoring our position as a top global touristic destination.”

Issam Kazim, CEO of Dubai's Department of Economy and Tourism, said the ‘World’s Coolest Winter’ campaign builds on a successful journey that began in 2020 and played an influential role in transforming the UAE into a global tourism hub and a favorite winter destination. He pointed to the UAE’s modern infrastructure and facilities, world-class transport system, warm hospitality, authentic customs, ecological diversity, and a broad range of festivals and activities.

“The ‘World’s Coolest Winter’ campaign presents an added value to the tourism sector and global standing of the UAE,”

said Kazim, vowing a “special” 4th season of the campaign that is set to attract a record number of visitors and increased hotel revenue.

“Dubai has prepared for the campaign in advance with a packed calendar of cultural and recreational events. We are confident that the campaign’s new season will yield substantial economic benefits on the emirate, given our experience witnessing an influx of tourists who escape the harsh winter from different parts of the world to enjoy Dubai’s key attractions during the campaign’s period.”

Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman of Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority, said:

“The 4th ‘World’s Coolest Winter’ campaign promises an exceptional tourist season in Sharjah, which sees its areas transform, as with previous campaign editions, into key spots for domestic and international visitors. Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority coordinates efforts with all players in the hospitality sector in the emirate to present the best experience and showcase Sharjah’s rich cultural heritage sites, museums, and stunning beaches overlooking the Arabian Gulf and Oman.”

Al Midfa noted that Sharjah’s economic sector eagerly awaits the annual campaign for its role in stimulating commercial activity and increasing hotel occupancy. The campaign also presents a great opportunity to highlight Sharjah’s key cultural and heritage landmarks as the emirate is popular for its wide range of historical sites, museums, and Islamic markets on regional and global scales.

Discovering new places

Mahmoud Khalil Al Hashemi, Director-General of the Ajman Tourism Development Department, said the ‘World’s Coolest Winter’ campaign has played an essential role in promoting the UAE as a unified touristic destination and introducing domestic and international visitors to dozens of stunning areas in each emirate. He noted that the campaign has succeeded in encouraging families and other segments of the UAE society to discover new touristic spots and resorts across the country, which contributed to the growth of the tourism sector and yielded high economic returns.

Al Hashemi added:

“Ajman Tourism Development Department seeks to utilize the mild winter season and the great opportunities presented by the ‘World’s Coolest Winter’ campaign to promote the national tourism product, develop the performance of hospitality cadres, and highlighting the emirate’s enchanting natural scenery, historical castles and nature reserves on social media.”

Revenue increase

Ahmed Al Samahi, General Director of Fujairah Tourism and Antiquities Department, said:

“The ‘World’s Coolest Winter’ campaign presents new incentives for the tourism sector in the UAE. The massive turnout of visitors during the time of the campaign spurs additional momentum and ideas to expand modern resort projects and carry out new leisure programmes. The tourism scene and the performance of the hospitality sector at a state level has undoubtedly moved to a new stage of development and witnessed a major boost in revenues after the campaign’s launch, reflecting positively on the national economy and the business sector of each emirate.”

Al Samahi noted pointed to Fujairah Tourism and Antiquities Department’s active participation in this year’s campaign through joining efforts with relevant tourism entities to showcase Fujairah’s touristic attractions, archeological sites, stunning water springs and breathtaking mountain resorts. He added that highlighting the emirate’s enchanting natural landscape and unique components sheds light on its potential to attract further domestic and foreign investment to the tourism sector.

Haitham Sultan Al Ali, Director of Umm Al Quwain Department of Tourism and Archaeology, said the department, through this year’s campaign, seeks to attract investment in the emirate’s touristic destinations and introduce investors to key opportunities, projects and sites with massive visitor turnout such as Mangrove Beach.

He added:

“The number of hotel guests in Umm Al Quwain has been steadily growing over the past few years, revealing the emirate’s popularity and efficiency in developing ambitious plans. The past seasons of the ‘World’s Coolest Winter’ campaign have helped shed light on the key touristic attractions of the emirate. This year’s visitors will get a broader change to explore our ancient and modern landmarks.”

Raki Phillips, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA), that the forward-looking vision, diligent planning and solid cooperation among local and federal government entities and relevant tourism bodies have made the campaign a countrywide success. He added that the campaign has moved UAE’s tourism to new horizons and placed the industry at the forefront of the global map, predicting that this year’s season will yield substantial economic gains.

He noted:

“We have been working early on to launch projects and initiatives that coincide with the ‘World’s Coolest Winter’ campaign with aims to advance the tourism sector in the emirate, offer the best services for visitors and drive investment in projects across several sites from the high mountains to the coasts. We will continue to expand the construction of resorts and organizing sports and heritage festivals, especially during the winter season.”

Last year’s campaign concluded with remarkable success, gaining traction on social media that reached more than 5.8 million interactions, with the #WorldsCoolestWinter hashtag used in more than 18,000 photos and videos on different platforms.

The UAE Government Media Office, in coordination with content creators across the country, produced more than 161 promotional videos that attracted 158.2 million videos from all over the world.

The campaign recorded a 100% positive global interaction, while local, regional, and international media coverage reached over 190 million viewers.

The UAE is ranked in the top 10 on several global competitiveness indicators in the tourism, travel and hospitality sector. The country’s hotel occupancy rate hit more than 84.6%, the highest in the world according to the STR Foundation and ranked 5th globally in attracting foreign direct investment in the tourism sector during 2018 -2022. It also emerged as the second-ranking country globally in the IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook’s tourism revenue index for 2022.

The UAE hotel revenues reached AED 26 billion from January-July 2023, recording a 24 percent jump compared to the same period in 2022. The number of hotel guests reached 16 million during the first seven months in 2023, marking a 15% growth compared to the same period in 2022, amounting to 56 million hotel nights. The total number of hotel establishments in the seven emirates of the UAE reached 1,224 by the end of last July.

News Source: Emirates News Agency

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