Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) today kicked off its inaugural Dubai China Conference, further reinforcing the emirate’s deep and continued commitment to China, bolstered by a huge attendance of 900 local dignitaries, stakeholders and Chinese partners. Taking place at Atlantis, The Palm, the two-day event is a major innovation that brings together industry players to share insights from the China market, whilst outlining Dubai Tourism’s ongoing collaborations to reconfirm its continued focus on one of the most important global source markets.

The close relationship between China and Dubai is evident in the willingness of the emirate to become fully “China-Ready”. Large-scale initiatives, in collaboration with key strategic partners such as Alipay and WeChat Pay are already in place, ensuring Dubai is fully ready to increase Chinese visitors. Impressed by the ambition and commitment of Dubai, our Chinese partners have reciprocated with their continued investment and support to enhance the visitor experience.

The forum is a clear indication of China’s rising prominence as one of Dubai’s fastest growing source markets, after closing the first six months of 2018 with a record 453,000 visitors – a growth of nine per cent over the same period in 2017. Key contributing factors to this significant increase in visitors include the introduction of visa-on-arrival for Chinese citizens and recent partnership agreements with Huawei, Fliggy and Tencent.

Speaking on the opening morning of the two-day conference,His Excellency, Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General of Dubai Tourism, said: “We are delighted to welcome so many of our close Chinese partners to join us for this innovative conference. China remains one of our fastest growing source markets and we expect this to continue over the coming year. Consumer demands and expectations are evolving at a dramatic pace and it is essential that we keep abreast of these developments. Our strategic agreements have not only increased market penetration with native language content and complimented our marketing across our four in-market offices, but also advanced the China-ready commitment of Dubai Tourism for visitors. Private and public sector collaboration on activities such as city-wide Chinese New Year celebrations and upskilling teams to be better able to cater to Chinese traveller requests; development of the Dubai Tourism China mark and continued work with stakeholders and travel partners; are just some of the undertakings by the Department over the past three years, each of which has contributed to Dubai’s ongoing success in the Chinese market.”

Held at Atlantis The Palm, Dubai Tourism was joined by key partners including Fliggy, Huawei, Mafwengo, Tencent, Ctrip and Dianping.  The conference will promote Dubai Tourism’s China market efforts while highlighting key opportunities to stakeholders within the industry. Delegates can choose the session most relevant for their sector and learn from experts on a broad range of subjects, among the presentations and workshops, conducted as part of the conference, panel members will tackle 360 marketing plans (including trade and development campaigns), digital platform presence and digital content enhancements, air capacity collaboration with key aviation partners and a Dubai Way China module for the industry. Additionally, the conference will introduce key market stakeholders in China, from the travel sector and beyond, in addition to presenting opportunities on how to work with these partners to make Dubai more China-Ready.

Earlier this year, Dubai Tourism signed an agreement with Huawei, one of China’s leading smartphone manufacturers, to pre-loads devices with both user-generated and official cinematographic content of Dubai. In May, the agreement was expanded further, with Huawei Mobile Services agreeing to offer useful and accessible content about Dubai, in particular through the company’s newly-updated SkyTone travel and roaming apps.  Additional milestones include an MOU with Fliggy, Alibaba’s online travel platform, and strategic alliance with China’s mega internet conglomerate, Tencent to elevate the positioning of Dubai as the preferred destination for Chinese travellers and to launch an audio guide feature on WeChat.

Dubai Tourism’s efforts, alongside those of its partners, are testament to the ongoing commitment to China and to deliver exceptional visitor experience and promote Dubai as one of the world’s leading destinations for tourists and business visitors alike.

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