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Dubai Tourism shifts gears to tap Luxury travellers & HNIs from India

For over a decade of enjoying its position in the Indian market as a popular tourist destination for family travel, Dubai Tourism has now set its focus on Luxury travellers and HNIs. In this direction, the destination will be undertaking in-market activation to drive traffic from India.

Talking about this, Bader Ali Habib, Head of Region – South Asia, International Operations, Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism, said, “India is our number one source market. We now see a growing demand from HNI and Ultra HNIs with different means of staying in Dubai. Therefore, we are starting to focus on the Luxury segment. For years, Dubai has received mass volumes and that was important for us because we wanted to position Dubai as a family destination, and an affordable one.”

“However, we realised there are other niches that we need to tap into. Apart from mass tourism, we are keen to champion in luxury, golfing and lifestyle experiences. Dubai is a one-stop shop across gastronomy, leisure, experiences and hotels for any affluent Indian to come and enjoy. We are looking at positioning Dubai in a year as a destination for HNIs with partners who have access to these set of travellers.”

With regards to tapping this niche segment, Habib stated that in market activations are a key area of focus. “We realised if we have to tap the niche segment, we need to reach out to them directly. We want to engage with HNI audience either through gala dinners, retreats, gastronomy, golfing and show them that Dubai has a continuity factor.”

He spoke about banking on the liveability factor of Dubai to serve as a catalyst for tourism, especially repeat travellers. “Indians have been the biggest beneficiaries of the Dubai Golden Visa. There has been a huge appetite among HNIs from India to come and settle in Dubai, where they can continue to operate their businesses and use the remote work experience to stay in Dubai and explore business opportunities here. Since we are a mature destination in India, we are looking at shifting the needle.”

Ali Habib was speaking to TravelBiz Monitor at Mumbai leg of their three-city roadshow that was held in Delhi and Ahmedabad as well. “Historically, Dubai has been a household name in the metro cities of India. However, the real potential of India lies in the Tier-II and III cities,” he said. 23 stakeholders, including hotels, attractions, DMCs, airline and cruise partners exhibited at the roadshow.

Commenting on the Dubai Expo 2020, Ali Habib said that it served as a catalyst for tourism since it created an impression that despite the pandemic, Dubai can host a global event offering safety for family travel. “We welcomed 24 million visitors with the Expo. The impression created with the Expo has put Dubai on a pedestal for the coming years and especially for the liveability factor.”

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