Category Archives: Govt

DTCM launches campaign to lure Chinese visitors

Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) has announced a partnership with Turner Asia Pacific, a WarnerMedia company, to launch a new digital campaign starring the popular Chinese emoticon ‘Tuzki’, as part of efforts to further increase tourist traffic to the emirate from China. Issam Kazim, CEO, Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DCTCM), said, “Through Tuzki, we aim to capture the imagination of Chinese netizens to participate in the campaign via social and digital touchpoints, further highlighting our ongoing efforts to work with relevant industry partners to deliver initiatives that will highlight Dubai as a ‘must-visit’ destination.”  In a clear indication of China’s rising prominence as one of Dubai’s fastest growing source markets, the first seven months of 2019 saw over 575,000 visitors arriving from China – a 12 per cent growth compared to the same period in 2018. Notable successes this year include the launch of the Dubai Mini Assistant, an enhancement of the city-experience Mini Program, one of the applications of the WeChat ecosystem, featuring 10 new mobile-based digital audio tours to highlight in-city accessibility, local historic sites and cultural landmarks for Chinese netizens. The Dubai College of Tourism also launched the Chinese Traveller Standards for tourist-facing staff across city touchpoints to enable them to deliver personalised, exceptional Dubai experiences to every Chinese guest. Chinese netizens will also be inspired to book a Dubai holiday during the National Day Golden Week from October 1-7, 2019.  “This digital rabbit is the perfect ambassador for Chinese tourists to Dubai and will show them that this remarkable place has a unique personality and welcomes them with a sense of fun,” said Clement Schwebig, Managing Director of China …

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Sharjah Ruler inaugurates international photography festival XPOSURE 2019

His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohamed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, inaugurated the fourth edition of the International Photography Festival, XPOSURE 2019, on September 19. Opening addresses by Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Chairman of the Sharjah Media Council (SMC); and three of this edition’s international guests, Aidan Sullivan, Ami Vitale and Ray Wells, discussed several questions about the crucial role of photography in ‘xposing’ stories that must be told, and the need for events like XPOSURE to continue to bring the global photography community together on one platform to discuss their challenges and opportunities. The UAE’s cultural capital has dedicated itself to the exciting world of photography this entire weekend. Organised by Sharjah Government Media Bureau (SGMB), the four-day event has tastefully curated 1,112 works by 357 photographers from all seven continentrs under four distinct themes, ‘Xpose Adventure’, Xpose Emotions’, ‘Xpose Art’ and ‘Xpose Life’. It runs at Expo Centre Sharjah until September 22, and offers amateurs, professionals and hobbyists in the UAE to hear from 53 leading names in the industry, who have flown into Sharjah with their finest works and awe-inspiring experiences. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi said, “At XPOSURE, we carry the messages of humanity and goodness in our hands.” In his keynote address at the inaugural ceremony, the Sharjah Media Council Chairman reiterated the need for responsible and ethical photography practices. “Pictures are the most powerful medium in media today. In our digital era, a picture’s impact is stronger and more far-reaching than we can imagine. People require strong proof to believe in something, and pictures do that. This means, what we shoot and share with the world must …

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Sharjah Tourism conducts roadshows in Beijing, Chengdu & Shanghai

As part of its efforts to achieve the Sharjah Tourism Vision 2021, which aims to attract more than 10 million tourists to the emirate by the year 2021, the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) announced that it will organise roadshows in three Chinese cities — Beijing, Chengdu and Shanghai. The campaign, which is set to run from September 16-20, is aimed at stimulating the Chinese outbound travel market to Sharjah by encouraging them to take advantage of the UAE’s visa-on-arrival policy for Chinese tourists. The growing number of Chinese tourists to Sharjah who come to explore the emirate’s cultural and heritage identity has made it one of the most important markets for SCTDA. Therefore, the roadshow will add immense value to the Authority’s efforts to attract more Chinese travellers to the emirate, by creating awareness on its product offerings and other special packages. In line with this, the roadshows in Beijing, Chengdu and Shanghai will see SCTDA highlight the emirate’s ambitious development projects in cooperation with the public and private sectors before Chinese audiences. H.E. Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman of SCTDA, said, “The number of visitors from China during the second quarter of this year has reached to 13,289, which reflects the consistently increasing interest of Chinese tourists to visit Sharjah, and it is expected this figure will go even higher by the end of this year. In view of this growth, SCTDA’s upcoming roadshows in three Chinese cities will strengthen communication channels with travel, tourism and hospitality industry leaders, and will promote exchange of best practices, successful experiences, and insights on latest trends to effectively support the growth of the tourism industry.”

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World’s fastest marathon returns to Ras Al Khaimah in 2020

Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority announced that the 14th edition of the hugely popular Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon will return to Al Marjan Island on February 21, 2020. Set against the picturesque backdrop of the Arabian Gulf, the stunning Al Marjan Island will host the action-packed sporting event where participants will be treated to pristine views of white sandy beaches and the shimmering ocean along the running route. The popular half marathon will host a variety of race categories, including elite runners, club and recreational runners, people of determination and juniors. Additionally, Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon is introducing a new relay race category for the first time; allowing two participants to take turns in completing the distance in a timed format. Families can also enjoy this event with a 1 KM Fun Run designed for children, allowing one parent to accompany the child at no extra cost. Raki Phillips, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, said, “The Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon has remained a crowd favourite for more than a decade, with an astounding number of returning participants demonstrating the event’s stature and coveted success.” Abdullah Al Abdooli, CEO of Marjan said, “We are delighted to support Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon, a world-class event that welcomes participants from across the globe, and further cements the reputation of Ras Al Khaimah as one of the region’s premier sporting, lifestyle, tourist and residential destinations.” Enrico Fili’, CEO of RCS Sports and Events said, “We are proud to support Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority for the first time and committed to delivering an unforgettable experience to the running community.”

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Sharjah Archaeology Authority showcases achievements of the emirate

In celebration of Sharjah being named the “World Book Capital City for the year 2019,” the Sharjah Archeology Authority (SAA) held a meeting to showcase the efforts of the Emirate of Sharjah in the protection and management of archaeological findings. During the meeting the authority also highlighted the achievements and initiatives of SAA in the field of archeology and preservation of the cultural heritage of the emirate. New publications issued by the authority were also revealed on this occasion. The meeting was attended by Eisa Yousif, Director of the Excavation and Archaeological Sites, and a number of SAA directors, officials and specialists, those interested in the field along with media representatives in the country. Eisa Yousif emphasised that Sharjah received this prestigious title due to the many initiatives and projects implemented in line with the directives of His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, member of the Supreme Council of the UAE and Ruler of Sharjah over the last four decades. Following the presentation of Yousif, the attendees toured another exhibition that included a collection of the latest publications of the authority from books and periodicals, on topics specialising in archeology, heritage, history and architecture.

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Sharjah strengthens campaigns to attract Russian tourists in 2019

The Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) has announced that it is aiming to attract more Russian visitors. According to the 2018 figures released by SCTDA, Russian visitors ranked second on the list of overnight guests in Sharjah at 328,000. The number of guests from Russia, the Commonwealth, and the Baltics region also posted a 41 per cent growth last year compared to the previous year. Moreover, the market share of Russian visitors went up to 23 per cent during the same period. In light of this trend, SCTDA and Air Arabia will organise a B2B event on  September 11, 2019 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Moscow to showcase Sharjah’s growing reputation as a premiere tourist destination, allowing for the opportunity to forge new partnerships with key Russian tourism industry stakeholders. The event represents SCTDA’s continuing efforts to make sure that the emirate is widely promoted across tourism and travel related events in Russia.          This year, SCTDA’s campaigns are focused on eco-tourism products, outdoor activities, and branded hotels to firmly establish Sharjah’s status as an ideal global family-friendly destination. All these initiatives are in response to the directives of H.H. Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, to position Sharjah as the ideal global tourist destination. H.E. Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman of SCTDA, said, “With the influx of Russian tourists visiting the emirate, we at SCTDA are working hard to sustain this trend. Expanding our presence in Russia through our partnerships with key local tourism and travel players is of extreme significance to us.”

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Russia emerges as sixth largest source market for Dubai

Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) hosted a series of strategic meetings with tourism and media companies in Moscow and St. Petersburg recently. The meetings drew attention to Russia’s emergence as the sixth largest source market for Dubai. The number of Russian tourists has grown exponentially over the past few years, from 240,000 in 2016 to 678,000 in 2018 and in the first seven months of this year,  Dubai has welcomed 392,000 visitors from Russia. Issam Kazim, CEO of Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DCTCM), who led the delegation, observed that Russian tourist traffic continued to play an important role in helping Dubai maintain steady tourism volumes. He also noted that following an exceptional resurgence in Russian visitors to Dubai in 2018, largely due to the visa-on-arrival enablement, growth from Russia levelled off to more sustainable volumes in H1 2019. Tour operators and destination management companies, who attended the meetings, included TUI – Russia & CIS, Karlson Tourism, Space Travel TO and Art Tour while Dubai Tourism also held wide-ranging discussions with key media companies including Kommersant Style, Spbdnevnik.ru, Proturizm.club, as well as TV and radio broadcasting company Travel.Vesti.  Dubai Tourism also hosted networking events in Moscow and St. Petersburg, which were attended by over 200 travel trade representatives.  

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Mleiha Archaeological Centre introduces adventure tour packages

Established by the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), the Mleiha Archaeological and Eco-tourism Project has been implemented by a team of experts to restore and protect the flora and fauna of the the Mleiha region. Apart from the Adventure Trek package, the Mleiha Archaeological Centre also has the Archaeological Tour package, where you can tour different man-made buildings – forts, cemeteries, the communal kitchen, among others – from various historical periods, as well as visit natural formations nearby such as Fossil Rock, Valley of the Caves, and Camel Rock. The centre’s well-curated exhibitions, interactive displays and artefacts provide an introduction to the past and allows you to travel back thousands of years to see the UAE in its nascent stages of existence. There are several sports packages as well for adrenaline junkies, including dune bashing, all specially designed keeping in mind the eco-sensitive nature of the region. All the guides are either palaeontologists, archaeologists, history enthusiasts or wildlife experts. “The Mleiha dessert landscape is a beautiful yet tough environment to survive in. The fauna and flora that call this place home have had to adapt to a desert that has scorching hot summers and cool wet winters. This has led to many interesting adaptations in the wildlife and plant life found on the dunes and rocky outcrops of Mleiha,” said Tharindu K.W.A., a wildlife expert at the centre.

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Over 100 Chinese travel buyers were welcomed to the UAE

The eighth annual MeetChina event kicked off in the capital on September 2, with two days of intensive meetings taking place at Yas Conference Centre at Yas Island, Abu Dhabi’s entertainment and leisure hub. The forum this year connects more than 100 top-tier Chinese travel buyers with 75 tourism stakeholders from across the UAE with one main purpose – to grow Chinese visitation to the UAE. Since the event was launched in 2011, tourism from China has grown four-fold across the UAE and the country has become Abu Dhabi’s number one international source market. MeetChina enables suppliers to connect with buyers during the event with 90 per cent of attendees re-booking year-on-year. MeetChina is owned and organised by NPI Media which partners with Mini Spider (Beijing) to pre-qualify attendance and ensure the participation of senior level buyers from companies seeking to grow outbound travel business from China to the UAE. The event is hosted by Yas Island and supported by the Department of Culture & Tourism – Abu Dhabi. Buyer attendance at MeetChina represents a broad spectrum of locations in mainland China, including Chengdu, Chongqing, Ningxia, Shenzhen, Yinchuan, Zhengzhou apart from Shanghai and Beijing. Rob Nicholas, Managing Director of NPI Media, said, “The popularity of MeetChina has meant that we had an overwhelming number of applications from buyers to attend this year and could be even more selective than usual to ensure we had not only record attendance, but also the best quality of buyers to introduce to tourism stakeholders in the UAE.” Marina Cipriano, General Manager of Experience Hub, the trade and promotion arm of Yas Island, said, “As one of the world’s fastest growing leisure and entertainment destinations, …

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Umrahme.com showcases travel solutions at Hajj & Umrah Forum 2019

Umrahme.com showcased specialised travel solutions for Muslims at the Hajj & Umrah Forum. The official signing of the MOU between Umrahme and the Ministry of Hajj & Umrah Forum was done by  Abdulrahman Fahd Shams, General Supervisor of Maqam Hajj & Umrah Global Distribution System.  The forum was held from August 26- 28 at the Jeddah Center for Forums and Events and brought together hospitality professionals, tour operators, travel and tourism professionals and airlines across the GCC region. Headlined by the Minister of Hajj & Umrah, Dr. Mohammad Saleh Bin Taher Benten, the forum was inaugurated by HRH Prince Khalid Al Faisal bin AbdulAziz Al Saud, Advisor to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, Governor of Makkah Region and Chairman of the Central Committee for Hajj and attended by a number of government officials. Umrahme.com has created a special purpose offering geared for Umrah travellers from all over the world. The portal is designed to help Muslims book and plan their Umrah trip with ease and from the comfort of their homes. The signing of the MOU with the Ministry of Hajj & Umrah, allows the portal to have direct interface with not just the customers, but with around 3,700 global travel agents and around 700 Umrah operators. Speaking at the forum, Mohammed Mahfouz Salem BinMahfouz, Founder and CEO, Umrah Business, Umrahme.com said, “We believe in minimalism and ease, hence Umrahme has been created with the idea of having a simplified and unified portal for all details regarding booking an Umrah trip from anywhere in the world.” As an approved and licensed Umrah OTA, Umrahme.com is also the first online travel agent offering e-visa support for Umrah, simplifying the …

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