Direct government backing for growth in luxury hotels, events and entertainment in Dubai will help the destination ride out the economic downturn and come out the other side with improved numbers of holidaymakers, according to the nation’s tourist board.
While constrained bank lending during the credit crunch is restricting investment in other destinations, Dubai’s expansion is backed directly by the United Arab Emirates government, said Ian Scott, director of the Dubai Representative Office in UK and Ireland.
“It is incredibly confident that what it is doing is sustainable. The government is supporting all the investment and expects 15 million visitors a year by 2015.
“Prime minister Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has the vision and the money to do this.”
Scott said Dubai’s decision to buy the QE2 and turn it into a floating hotel and museum was a good example of how the destination was investing in a variety of quality attractions for the destination. The ocean liner set sail on its final journey to the Emirates earlier this week.
Dubai is determined to continue to drive business through the trade in the UK, Scott said.
The Dubai Expert 08 training programme would be updated and improved, he said, while agents could also sign up to Dubai Update, a monthly electronic newsletter.
Hundreds of agents each year travel on familiarisation trips to the area, while the tourist office is setting up a Facebook group to help those taking part stay in touch.