Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) held a virtual meeting with several entities including hospitality and airline partners to discuss the post-Covid-19 recovery strategy for the emirate’s tourism sector.
On May 25, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Crown Prince and chairman of the Executive Council, announced a comprehensive plan to resume business activities from May 27 that includes the reopening of cinemas, gyms and several entertainment establishments.
Additionally, there would be no restrictions on movement of individuals from 6am-11pm.
The Dubai Tourism meeting focused on joint initiatives and responses that would be made as the city gradually resumes its activities including measures undertaken to prevent the spread of the virus as the city gradually opens up once again.
— Dubai Media Office (@DXBMediaOffice) May 25, 2020
The meeting was led by Helal Saeed Almarri, the director general of Dubai Tourism, and was attended by representatives from a broad range of hospitality and aviation partners including Jumeirah, Emaar Hospitality Group, Marriott International, Millennium, Accor, JA Resorts and Hotels, Kerzner International, Al Habtoor Group, Wasl and Rotana, in addition to aviation sector players like Emirates, flydubai and Dubai International Airport, reported Dubai Media Office.
“As we look ahead to a gradual reopening of tourism, we will focus on the key elements that have ensured the industry’s success over the past decade – creating unique value and delivering an uncompromised guest experience. To achieve this, we rely on the solidarity of our stakeholders who have always played a pivotal role. We hope they will continue to lead from the front in positioning Dubai as a must-visit destination,” said Almarri.
“It must be emphasised that the health and safety of our residents and guests will always remain our top priority as we continue to work with the industry and our government partners not just during this critical period but beyond, to develop innovative approaches, real-time responses, and proactive yet prudent initiatives to ensure that Dubai remains at the forefront of the world’s leading destinations in line with our strategy.”
The meeting discussed ongoing marketing and communication campaigns such as the #TillWeMeetAgain digital activation and also steps being taken to reopen hotels and encourage domestic demand.
The businesses reiterated their support to Dubai Tourism to kick-start the sector through the collaborative development of promotional programmes and customised packages.
“As an international chain that enjoys a longstanding relationship with Dubai, Marriott is committed to supporting the industry’s efforts to regain momentum by rolling out our own initiatives and packages to attract visitors to Dubai when the time is safe for travel,” said Neal Jones, chief sales and marketing officer, Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), Marriott International.
In order to instill confidence among travellers visiting Dubai, the members discussed precautionary measures implemented at a citywide level across specific sectors including tourism which represent critical touchpoints for visitors during their stay.
One of the key priorities agreed at the meeting was to emphasise the safety and security that Dubai provides, and the clear stringent health and safety protocols issued by the Dubai Health Authority based on international standards and best practices aimed at containing the contagion.
The meeting also discussed the mechanism to ensure adherence to the guidelines, practical solutions to scan and monitor passengers at Dubai International Airport and the effective management of contact tracing in compliance with privacy standards, following the resumption of air travel.
“Dubai International Airport is prepared to welcome visitors as soon as airports around the word start reopening and pave the way for a phased resumption of air services. As health and hygiene standards will play an influential role in encouraging people to travel, we have put in place a set of health and safety protocols at our airports including all necessary quarantine arrangements and the implementation of sanitisation and disinfection measures to reassure tourists that Dubai is one of the safest destinations to visit. We will also continue to receive incoming flights from select destinations, operate cargo flights, as well as flights to repatriate expatriates and guests to their home destinations,” said Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports.
Adnan Kazim, chief commercial officer at Emirates Airline said that the airline has implemented measures such as thermal temperature scanning before check-in, the mandatory use of masks and gloves for everyone at the airport, protective suits for crew and ground employees, physical distancing protocols, modified services to reduce contact and enhanced cleaning measures.
“Dubai with its wide experience in successfully dealing with challenging situations is capable of restoring tourism momentum and paving the way for the hospitality sector to returns to its previous state. This is also a view shared by our international hospitality partners who have placed great faith in Dubai’s resilience during tough times, as well as in its world-class healthcare system and the range of preventive measures taken across the city such as the effective and regular sanitisation and sterilisation programmes, that will help highlight Dubai as one of the world’s safest destinations,” said Mohammed Al Habtoor, vice chairman and CEO, Al Habtoor Group.
The participants at the meeting agreed that the decision to postpone Expo2020 to next year was the right decision in light of the pandemic.
“It is imperative in these unexpected times to harness our collective strengths and design effective solutions that ensure Dubai’s prominence on the global tourism industry stage. Together we can redefine the future of travel,” Almarri added.
Neighbouring emirate Abu Dhabi’s tourism body – the Department of Culture and Tourism (DCT) – Abu Dhabi – also recently issued a list of guidelines that all hotels in the capital must adhere to before reopening.