Passenger traffic set to jump 200% this summer

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DUBAI – A dramatic rise to as high as 200 per cent in inbound passenger traffic is seen this summer as major airlines in the emirate aggressively promote special fares and packages across the GCC — the biggest tourist market for Dubai and the UAE.

This positive development of seeing an influx of GCC visitors this summer is also an offshoot of the current political unrest across the Middle East and also due to Dubai’s positioning as a preferred holiday destination with the ongoing attractions and events of the Dubai Summer Surprises (DSS).

Senior officials of UAE airlines, which are aggressively campaigning for inbound tourism, have also supported this view and add that activities like DSS are sought after by tourists that consider Dubai as an all-round and complete destination. The airlines are providing special offers to passengers as they have introduced integrated promotions such as group value offers where customers are provided fare discounts and five-star hotel packages in addition to access to events and recreational activities in Dubai.

Ahmed Khoury, Senior Vice President, Emirates Airline, Commercial Operations Gulf, Middle East and Iran, said that “the demand for travel to Dubai during summer is high, and travellers want to take advantage of the shopping opportunities in addition to visiting landmarks in the city. Emirates continues to provide special offers during the summer months to promote Dubai as an ideal holiday destination and promoting travel into Dubai.”

“We promote Dubai through our marketing channels that span six continents, and we have actively promoted special offers available for the ‘Summer in Dubai’ campaign that features Dubai Summer Surprises, Ramadan in Dubai and ‘Eid in Dubai’. Emirates is currently witnessing increased passenger traffic from the GCC, Iran, and the Middle East.”

Emirates airline is collaborating with institutions and tourism entities to market Dubai as a summer destination for tourists all through the year. This year, as part of the ‘young flyers’ programme,

Emirates has introduced a global campaign featuring a summer in Dubai aimed at attracting more families to Dubai during the DSS.

The offer was launched at the start of DSS and is valid until 30 September. Emirates is also offering combined hotel and air travel packages and some of the packages are in partnership with The Dubai Mall that offers children below the age of 12 years free access to recreational activities. The programme also offers children free entry to a number of attractions, including the Dubai Dolphinarium, Ski Dubai, and Wild Wadi.

Ghaith Al Ghaith, CEO of flydubai, said that the airline is seeing an increased demand for flights to Dubai from the GCC and Middle East. He also said that the budget carrier had seen an increase of 200 per cent in their passengers since the launch of flydubai in 2009.

Air Arabia has also introduced exclusive promotions for the summer. The ‘Win the value of your ticket’ promotion allows travellers the opportunity to recover the value of their tickets.

Hussam Raydan, Public Relations Director of Air Arabia, said that “the move was to highlight the commitment to offer customers something beneficial on a daily basis.” “Air Arabia is offering 50 passengers the chance to win back the price of their tickets when advance bookings are made,” he added.

© Khaleej Times 2011