Tag Archives: middle east

The Lure of the Middle East

Over the years the Middle East has transformed into one of the most loved tourist’s destinations in the world. It has a global impression of having some of the world’s best holiday resorts, airlines and airports for travel. It is a major travel hub for passengers to connect to another flight and has a reputation for luxurious spots for vacations and relaxation.  Among Countries in the Middle East, Nations like the UAE and Qatar  are among top world class in the hospitality, travel and tourism industries. Dubai is also a choice destination for a lot of Nigerians with 3 hours time difference .

   

The United Arab Emirates where Dubai is found stands out as one of the most visited countries in the Middle East and the world, with over 20 million visitors each  year. Of all the oil rich nations in the Middle East, UAE has been able to establish one of the world’s most successful tourism industry.

The world famous Dubai is like a bright shinning magnet that attracts travelers and visitors from all over the planet. It is almost shocking to hear one has not visited this astonishing city, with all that has been told and heard about it. However why do you think travelers desire to visit Dubai over and over again? 

Before setting foot into Dubai, visitors already have this idea of experiencing heaven on earth and getting to explore one of the globes most futuristic cities and to relax in luxury resorts. Dubai may have already set awesome tourists standards for the world to follow. To the extent, people who haven’t visited already have an imagination of what to expect and when they do visit their expectations are often met.

 

Majority of Nigerians love to take a holiday off from work in this amazing city. It’s no surprise that 56% of the total visitation of Africans to Dubai are Nigerians and they were thrilled with the news that the United Arab Emirates had lifted it’s travel ban off Nigerian inbound flights, granting access of flight routes from Nigeria to UAE and vice versa. This officially became effective on 29th January, 2022. The travel restrictions were put in place late last year, by the UAE government to help control and prevent the spread of Covid-19 and the new Omicron variant. Passengers travelling to Dubai must still present a valid negative Covid-19 test certificate and also receive a PCR test upon arrival. 

World Food Festival 

Dubai  hosts multiple world class events like the recently held Gulfood Festival, that was from 13th to 17th February 2022, which is the world’s largest annual food event that brings together international chefs and leading food flavors  from different continents. Nothing less than 120 countries exhibit their national food and dishes, professional chefs, well-known restaurants and Food and Beverage startups secure their spots and showcase their culinary art to the global hospitality and food industries.

Gold Souk

The famous Gold market in Dubai, also called the Gold Souk keeps tourists flocking in and out. This market is known for a wide range of classy jewelry made from gold, diamonds, silver or other precious stones.  The Gold Souk is one of the largest gold markets in the world, with over 300 retailers and lots of visitors dropping by to either purchase gold or  just sight-see the beauty of this glittering market place.  The gold pieces found in this market are sold 60% cheaper than any where else in the world, hence Dubai got it’s nickname “the City of Gold”.

Cultural Diversity – Something for everyone

What’s most interesting about Dubai that makes it so unique from any other country in the world, is that Dubai has a bit of every destination in the world added to it. It highlights cultural diversity from around the globe in a fascinating way. Dubai has an indoor Ski Slope, even though it doesn’t snow in this desert region country, you can find artificial snow in the indoor Ski Slope. The popular Dubai Safari Park has over 2500 animals from different species including elephants, rhinos, lions and so much more, paying homage to the African wildlife safari.  There is also Lego land and Bollywood park in the Dubai parks & Resorts. This shows how welcoming Dubai is to visitors from other nations and who wouldn’t love the feeling of being welcomed in a home away from home.

Man Made Events and Festivals

Dubai has a lot of events e.g. shopping festival, Jazz festival and a host of others  always happening within its walls and a constant attraction to the whole wide world. One of such is Dubai Expo slated from October 2021 to 31 March 2022 with an estimated visitor arrival of 8,067,012. The visitors in their millions will surely impact the nations economy. The Dubai expo offers daily shows, restaurants with world-class cuisine with different countries exhibiting and giving you a taste of their homeland.

Now tell me why you will not want to go to Dubai .

Qatar is set to receive 6 million visitors per annum

The middle East Tourism has been dominated by Dubai as a top destination with all sorts of attractions. Visitors keep  coming back for more but today, Qatar is the new kid on the block.

For years, Qatar has been preparing to take that enviable position as number one. This is a drama series we are looking forward to as the Qatari people do not give half measures.  If you have  been to the Qatar Airport then you will know they are in pursuit of excellence , the opulence and grandeur is unrivaled . The National carrier Qatar Airways,  is the only airline to be voted World’s Best Airline six times by Skytrax. This is further complimented by the airline’s home and hub, Hamad International Airport, which got the vote World’s Best Airport in 2021 by Skytrax.

Hamad International Airport, Qatar

Qatar Tourism has launched a new campaign to promote the destination with the tagline, “Experience a World Beyond”, and a new website has been launched to this effect , www.visitqatar.qa

It is available in five languages and supported by a recently launched Personalised Travel Companion mobile app, designed to showcase the world-leading destination. The campaign features nine unique, engaging key chain characters  to introduce travelers to the destination, which will roll out across 15 international core markets. We are not sure Africa has an invite to the party yet.

Experience the culture and play local games
Dates are regular features in the middle east -Dates are the first agricultural export product of Qatar, amounting up to 16,500 metric tons per year in 2003 but the local fruit production has declined steeply over the past decade.
Middle East scents in a jar

Destination Knowledge

To aid knowledge and development for travel agents, Qatar Tourism’s travel agency training platform, TAWASH, has also been refreshed with a new interface design, content and training modules. The training platform supports Qatar’s mission to become a leader in Service Excellence. The design offers an improved learning experience, the upgrade in programme functionality includes features such as interactive maps and knowledge check quizzes, alongside a new module structure to deliver an agile learning solution.

 

Agents can receive a ‘Qatar Expert’ certificate, which can be upgraded to ‘Qatar Specialist’ through completion of additional elective options. Learners who have already completed the former programme will automatically receive the ‘Qatar Expert’ level.

Infrastructure and Attractions 

With the goal of raising tourism to 12% of GDP by 2030, Qatar will grow and improve assets and attractions, including the addition of 105 new hotels and serviced apartments to its extensive growing portfolio. The strategy will enhance the end-to-end customer experience and deploy a tailored marketing strategy to target point-to-point and stopover visitors.  The country will also be hosting the FIFA world cup 2022.

International travelers are welcome  to experience Qatar’s rich cultural heritage, unique hotels and resorts, incredible outdoor activities, beaches and multi-cultural culinary scene. In Qatar, visitors will truly Experience a World Beyond.” This also includes the National Museum with a grand architecture – a complex form of the desert rose, found in Qatar’s arid desert regions which  inspired the striking design of the new museum building, conceived by French architect Jean Nouvel.

 

Israel promoting tourism in Dubai amidst clash with Gaza

 

Despite the recent Israeli-Gaza conflict, a senior Israeli tourism official saw it normal to encourage persons in Dubai to visit Israel, as she described it as a must-see destination for Muslim visitors. 

Israeli-Gaza conflict

This generally seems like bad timing for such promotion, especially considering the fact that major airlines have discontinued flight operations to Israel due to the increased violence from the conflict.

 

However, at the first physical travel and tourism event in Dubai, the Arabian travel market, Israel had a decorated stand exhibiting the Country as “the land of creation” along with promotional videos urging tourists to visit and book their trips now!

Israeli exhibition at the Arabian Travel Market Dubai, United Arab Emirates

The Israeli new market development director in the Tourism Ministry, Ksenia Kobiakov, stated “We were not talking about it. We are talking about the future. We are talking about what we can do to bring tourism to Israel.”

 

She further made clear ‘the hope is that Emirati citizens and foreign residents of the UAE will visit Israel in return and help its tourism sector rebound when the country is open again to tourists.’

Kobiakov also added “People don’t feel safe to travel now to Israel. It’s understandable. But this escalation, it will finish one day,” she said. “We know that all the conflicts are coming and they are going. Tourism is staying forever.”