By Jimoh Babatunde
At a recent travel exhibition in Lagos, one stand that was the cynosure of all eyes was that of the Dubai tourism.
The stand had Emirates Airlines, Emirates Holidays, IMG Worlds of Adventure, North Tours, Red Apple Middle East Tourism, Time Hotels, Hilton Hotels, All in One Tourism, Alpha Tours and Arabian Falcon Holidays displaying.
The pull for Nigerians to the stand was not surprising to the officials of the Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) as Dubai, the commercial capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), is one of the favourite destinations for Nigerian travellers.
It is a top leisure destination for both leisure and business vacations for many Nigerians. This is attested to by the volume of flights from Nigeria that terminates in the city either directly or indirectly.
Speaking on the need for the Dubai Tourism to participate at the yearly travel show, the Regional Director Africa for Dubai Tourism, Stella Obinwa, said: “Dubai continues to establish itself as a destination of choice for travellers from the African continent, holding particular appeal amongst those looking for wholesome family fun, incredible shopping deals and year-long entertainment.
She said the decline in traveling due to the economic recession has not affected Dubai compared to other destinations, because Dubai is closer to Nigeria and has more to offer Nigerians.
“We offer theme parks and some opening in few months and Dubai keep reinvesting itself that is why people keep coming back over and over again.”
Stella Obinwa continued: “We are very excited to provide our African visitors a glimpse of Dubai’s thrilling additions to the family entertainment portfolio. With the recent opening of IMG Worlds of Adventure and the soon-to-be-launched Dubai Parks and Resorts, we are proud to see Dubai’s steady success towards becoming the world’s number one family holiday destination.
“We are also bolstering our commitment to further enhance Dubai’s shopping experiences which include the upcoming Dubai Shopping Festival from December 26 to January 31.”
On the Dubai shopping festival
First launched in 1996, Dubai Shopping Festival has grown to become one of the largest shopping, fashion and entertainment extravaganzas in the world, with exciting activities such as musical concerts, sports shows and fashion displays.
And what we have discovered is that yes Africans come to Dubai, but not many are aware that in certain month of the year that there is what we call Dubai shopping festival, where all the retailers are mandated by the government to run discount programmes and each one of them runs a program that is up to 70% on regularly priced items.
So, we want Africans to experience the shopping festivals for themselves and then become regulars, so we are willing in Dubai tourism to pay for 200 Nigerians to come for the 2016 Dubai shopping festival.
Tagged the “Dubai Shopping Festival Give away” promotion, Dubai Tourism plans to reward Nigerians who are keen travellers with thrilling shopping experiences in Dubai. Over the past decade, Dubai has developed into a leading shopping destination offering visitors a wealth of unique experiences and opportunities.
The package includes flights, tickets to some of Dubai Shopping Festival’s many events, hotel accommodation and visa application – all paid for by Dubai Tourism.
The festival is not all about just shopping, there is shopping, there is musical experience, there is gastronomy experience, there is much more. Even if you don’t want to shop there is so much more to do as we have planned programmes for holistic experience of Dubai.