“The UK is one of our top three markets for inbound tourism to Dubai. With your help we need to increase this visitation,” said Kazim, speaking at the TGTG 2016 conference, which is taking place this week at Atlantis, The Palm, in Dubai (23-25 May).
Dubai attracted more than 1.2 million visitors from the UK in 2015.
“We look set to surpass that figure in 2016,” Kazim told conference-goers.
Dubai Tourism has set out ambitious targets to attract 20 million international visitors by 2020.
To attain this goal, Dubai needs to “broaden its appeal”, Kazim stressed.
Dubai’s mandate to become the world’s leading family destination is part of this tourism diversification plan and the city will be rolling out several new attractions targeting this market, this year, including four theme parks.
They include Legoland Dubai, Motiongate Dubai and Bollywood Parks at the US$2.9 billion Dubai Parks & Resorts attraction development, which opens in October; IMG Worlds of Adventure, which opens in August as the world’s largest indoor theme park; as well as Dubai Safari and Dubai Opera.
Families now account for half of all visitors to Dubai, Kazim said, accounting for an average stay of 7.2 days in 2015.
“Families are driving long-stay business,” said Kazim.
One of Dubai Tourism’s overarching goals is to boost repeat business.
“Our aim is to turn visitors into ambassadors and advocates for the city,” Kazim confirmed.
His address to UK agents was followed up with an overview of Dubai’s success story by Iain Andrew, divisional senior vice president, travel, at TGTG’s parent company dnata.
He stressed how in 2015, Dubai attracted 14.2 million visitors, while Dubai International (DXB) reported 78 million international passengers.
He thanked TGTG agents for driving more business to Dubai, particularly in partnership with dnata and its sister companies.