Following the recent uplifting of flight restrictions, reevaluation of the precautionary measures in place and industry demise, Dubai Tourism hosted a virtual forum. With over 2000 attendees, the leading names of the industry including executives, shareholders and partners of major companies like Emaar Hospitality Group, Jumeirah, Marriott International, Millennium, Accor, Emirates, flyDubai, etc. joined the forum. It was headed by the Director-General of Dubai Tourism.
With the primary announcement of the opening of the city on 7th July for tourists and travelers, the meeting discussed phased approaches towards marketing. Since the hospitality and tourism sector is one of the chief contributors in the country’s GDP, it was essential to discuss possible strategies to execute the perfect reopening. The members of the meeting added different statistical takes and research analyses to understand the market behavior after the pandemic.
Most importantly, the Director-General asked all members to monitor the progress of the country with the pandemic. He added that it was in the interest of everyone if things don’t seem unsafe and insecure to the incoming visitors. Therefore, clear guidelines, protocols and measures to be observed in the city were discussed along with specific details.
Dubai experienced serious consequences of the pandemic crisis. Most notably, the tourism and hospitality sector faced the hardest circumstances even though it was showing great progress in 2019. With 16.73 million people coming in 2019, the numbers were expected to grow in 2020. The growth of 5.1% was recorded and more developments were being made to cater to the inflow. However, the pandemic crisis became an undeniable reality, and tourism was inevitably shut down.
UAE Airlines specifically projected to face a loss of almost $6.8bn with the number of passengers decreasing by 31 million.
Recent events following the precautionary measures taken by the government to slowly open markets have shown great results. The Emirati government took major steps, especially during massive quarantine measures to ensure a clean city. Furthermore, the government also devised standard operating procedures and strategies to open the market in phases. For example, when opening up malls, rules and guidelines were made mandatory to ensure public safety. Similarly, restaurants were later allowed to open with limited seating capacities and strict arrangement protocols.
The results were evidently showing how the UAE was a region with some of the lowest numbers of patients. Compared to the world, the UAE was faring much better. It ranked at 3rd spot in the list of top countries that did the most testing per million people. Moreover, a national survey to determine the public’s satisfaction with regards to the government’s actions was also conducted. The survey also ranked the UAE on number 3 in the whole world to be the most satisfying.
Where most were giving up careers and applying elsewhere, Dubai Tourism kept on running campaigns. Some of the most notable ones involved the #TillWeMeetAgain. Similarly, over 350 social media personalities were reached out to promote traveling to Dubai. Even a stunt of this little magnitude managed to attract an interested population of over 20 million.
While working on the safety measures inside, the UAE managed to portray a healthy image of the developments to the outside world as well. Additionally, marketing strategies devised by experts played a vital role in retaining and attracting consumer interest. Using social media platforms and technology like the Dubai VR Hub, they engaged with the global markets. The feature allowed people to view all the major attractions and street views from their homes using a 3-D cardboard headset. It is expected to raise global interest in traveling to the Middle East significantly.