Take a good look around in the global scenario and you will find Dubai utilizing technology to the fullest and taking smart business-friendly decisions to ensure progress. There’s much data backing this observation in various business segments as well.
Read along: According to Bloomberg news report from Feb 2021, as other wealthy nations tightened Covid-19 restrictions over the winter, Dubai decided to take a risk, gradually reopening its economy while embarking on one of the world’s most extensive vaccination drives. So much so that other countries have begun to eagerly look at the procedures followed for implied success rate of Middle East business and travel hub fares as a test case to return to normalcy. There are optimistic whispers around calling Dubai leading the way and becoming a ‘Vaccination Tourism’ destination too.
In the Leaders of Tomorrow: Weekend Edition by ET Now, ‘Eye on Tourism in Dubai’ session, industry stalwarts spoke about key challenges in tourism in Dubai and how did they overcome it. Excerpts from the interview session: Danielle Curtis, Exhibition Director, Reeds Exhibitions and Arabian Travel Market: “Reed Exhibitions operates 400 events globally. We pivoted rapidly to virtual, this was a learning curve. Our foremost priority was safety of our stakeholders. The learning we had during the pandemic has had positive outcomes.” Marc Descrozaille, COO of Accor (Middle East and Africa): “Accor has over 50 hotels in Dubai.We have reopened all in Dubai and majority of them globally too.We started ‘ALLSAFE – Intensified Hygiene Protocols and assured confidence in consumers. Adaptability has been our keyword. Contact-less check-in and check-out payments were immediately put in place amongst other protocols. We have witnessed a rise in UAE clientele from 5 % to 40 %.” Mamoun Hmedan, Managing Director, Middle East, North Africa (MENA) and India, WeGo: “With 24 million users in GCC (Gulf Cooperative Council),WeGo had to stay relevant to the clients.We redesigned our entire content and social media strategy.We redesigned market outreach. Updated users with Covid related information.Created trackers. Updated safety measures. We arranged repatriation flights in partnership with airlines and charters. Staycation in Dubai became a trend and that was new for us at that scale during the pandemic.”
Business activity in healthcare, tourism, start-ups and entrepreneurial ventures, IT and online education amongst other sectors has shown output rising for the second consecutive month in January 2021. Employment has seen a rise as non-oil firms have begun to see conditions improving. In the recent past, some large scale international events strengthened public confidence and thereby boosted business sentiment too. One such was the annual Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) that coincided with the New Year 2021 celebrations in Dubai and brought about much cheer. The safety measures at every venue was highly stringent and yet fun quotient was high as enthusiasts felt taken good care of. Entertainment, shopping and culinary delights added to the overall appeal.
The DSF success was widely appreciated for the way Dubai’s events were planned and executed. Expo 2020 Dubai will be the first World Expo ever hosted in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region. Expo 2020 will run for six months from 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022. Through the theme of Connecting Minds, Creating the Future, World Expo shall inspire people by showcasing the best examples of collaboration, innovation and cooperation from around the world.