Strong partnerships between airlines, travel & tourism companies, and hospitality groups have been a key factor in Dubai being able to safely reopen for visitors, said Issam Kazim, CEO of Dubai Tourism.
Speaking at the ATM 2021 press conference on Tuesday, Kazim noted that 2020 had been a challenging year for global travel, but that Dubai was enjoying the success of the timely measures taken to curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. “We were one of the first countries to shut down and to reopen, and to ensure safety as our number one priority. We closed 2019 with a record 16.7 million visitors, and all our tourism initiatives helped us to start January and February 2020 with record numbers as well. We saw a growth of around 4.2 per cent before March came around and we went into lockdown.”
“Dubai has demonstrated a successful model for recovery of the international travel and tourism sector,” he added. “The challenges are still there, but we are following all of the measures that are needed to ensure safety. The city has been tireless in its efforts in leading the restart of global tourism, inspired and guided by our visionary leadership with the goal of positioning Dubai as one of the world’s safest destinations. We have a proven framework for welcoming back visitors safely and ensuring that they enjoy a well-rounded destination experience.”
Kazim also shed light on the possibility of restarting cruise tourism, but said that the industry presented a unique set of challenges. “We have to ensure that these tourists can not only come into Dubai safely, but that they can also leave safely and return to their home destinations. Often times, it is the procedures that they have to face when they get back that makes travel difficult for them.”
He added that he was very optimistic about Dubai closing the year on a positive note. “We are very optimistic about the numbers for the year because we have the UAE’s Golden Jubilee celebrations as well as Expo 2020 Dubai coming up. Through everything, we have never stopped talking with our key markets to tell them that Dubai is ready to welcome them. Also, the strength of the partnerships between the UAE’s public and private sectors have really played a key role in Dubai’s success story over the years, and will continue to do so.”