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Tuesday, 25 June, 2013, 19 : 00 PM [IST]

‘The ‘Summer is Dubai’ campaign is an innovative initiative to position the emirate as an attractive destination’ - Saeed Mohammed Measam Al Falasi

Dubai Festivals & Retail Establishment (DFRE), an agency of the DTCM, unveiled its global 'Summer is Dubai' campaign last month in Mumbai. With such campaigns, the emirate aims to increase visitor numbers to 20 million by 2020. Saeed Mohammed Measam Al Falasi, Director Strategic Alliances, DFRE, speaks to Rashmi Pradhan about the campaign and expectations from the Indian market
Q. What is the USP of the ‘Summer is Dubai’ campaign, and how different is it from past campaigns?
In the past our summer campaigns featured different and specific stand-alone events such as the Dubai Summer Surprises. But this year we have brought all our summer events under one grand umbrella campaign, ‘Summer is Dubai’ The campaign is an innovative initiative to position the emirate as an attractive summer destination; comprises promotional events like Dubai Summer Surprises (DSS), Modhesh World—the largest indoor family edutainment destination in the Middle East; and covers festivities like Ramadan and Eid. During the campaign period, special promotional fares for hotels, apartments, activities and major attractions are being offered. The campaign that was rolled out globally on June 7, has received an encouraging response from the residents and tourists from Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. We want to showcase Dubai as a refreshing and fresh destination, and hence, this year we have used bright colours in the campaign. With such campaigns, the emirate aims to increase visitor numbers to 20 million by 2020, in line with Dubai's tourism strategy.

Q. How do you view the potential of the Indian market?
India is the second top source market for Dubai. We have observed an increase in number of visitors from the Indian market last year, when we registered an increase of ten per cent over 2011. Dubai received 763,986 leisure and business travellers from India at hotels and hotel apartments. In the first quarter this year, Dubai registered 240,215 Indian visitors, which is a 15.6 per cent increase compared with the same period last year. By the end of 2013, I am sure we will surpass last year's figures. The new campaign will definitely add to the overall marketing impact and ensure that India maintains its number-two source market position for Dubai.

Q. How do you plan to work in tandem with the Indian travel trade?
From June to September, our office will be actively promoting the campaign, offering a great opportunity for families to visit Dubai for a short break and avail of innumerable discounts and offers. The participating hotels and attractions are offering complimentary stay, food and free entry for kids below 12 years of age during the period. We will be running the campaign across several mediums, backed by trade partners to cater to the demand generated. The campaign in itself is a grand offer for travel agents to sell the destination. The wide range of products, including events, festivals and shopping is a winning aspect for a travel agent to sell packages.
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