x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Dubai plans tourism marketing push to counter global economic woes

Dubai's Department of Tourism and Commerce announces a marketing campaign to lure tourists during the global economic crisis.

DUBAI // Dubai's Department of Tourism and Commerce has announced a marketing campaign to lure tourists during the global economic crisis. Khalid Ahmed bin Sulayem, the director general of the department, said the campaign would begin within two weeks. Eyad Abdul Rahman, the executive director of media relations for the tourism department, said advertisements would be released in China, Russia, Saudi Arabia and the UK. He did not elaborate.

Despite reports of falling occupancy rates in the Middle East, Ian Scott, the director of Dubai Tourism in the UK, said the number of British tourists visiting the emirate continued to rise. UK tourists are Dubai's most frequent visitors. Mr Rahman said occupancy at Dubai's hotels has remained high throughout autumn. "At the moment we are reaching 85 to 90 per cent." He did not say whether tourism forecasts had decreased since the financial crisis hit in September.

Dubai has set a target of 15 million visitors by 2015. Tourism accounted for about a third of Dubai's gross domestic product last year, with industry experts estimating that about seven million people visited the emirate. Analysts have predicted that the full brunt of the economic crisis will be felt in 2009 and 2010. @Email:jgerson@thenational.ae