Dubai tourism pays a visit to ZU students
By Muna Abdulla Albani & Noorah Abdulqader Lootah
One of Sheikh Mohammed’s quotes that grabs people’s attention is when he mentioned about his vision; he said “twenty years from now my vision is for Dubai to be number one, the happiest nation of all”. At a recent guest speaker event at Zayed University, students from Dr. Noela’s Tourism Principles and Event Planning classes were privileged to listen to an expert Mr. Jeff Strachan from the Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing (DTCM), Dubai. Jeff mentioned that Sheikh Mohammed hoped to achieve Dubai’s vision by bringing 20 million visitors to Dubai by 2020. The students were surprised to learn that the top four countries the tourists who visited Dubai last year the top four countries that visited Dubai last year were tourists from India with 1.8 million, Saudi Arabia 1.6 million, the United Kingdom 1.2 million and Oman 0.73 million visitors.
Jeff Strachan spoke to the students about the strategies that Dubai adopts in order to attract more visitors. One is building more three and four star hotels in order to have something for every market segment. The other interesting strategy is to target more GCC neighbors to visit Dubai more than once or even four times in a year by attracting them to attend different events like concerts, festivals and other major events. These events are also easily available for booking via online apps too. Another strategy is to ease up on visa restrictions, to make Dubai an easier option for a weekend trip.
One of the main points that the students learned from Mr. Strachan’s lecture was that different people have different needs and motivation. At the end of the presentation the students were given a task to work in class. The task required students to come up with a strategy to find out ‘how Dubai can appeal to the needs of tourists in target markets that are not in the list of Dubai’s top 20 destinations’.
Overall the guest lecture was extremely useful and gave us students valuable insights into the tourism industry.