Business | Tourism

Airlines expect healthy summer visitor numbers

Emirates and flydubai cash in on shopping and events with package deals

  • Staff Report
  • Published: 00:00 July 3, 2011
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: Arshad Ali/Gulf News
  • Artists perform in a DSS event at the Dubai Mall. Promotions such as the DSS are expected to keep visitor numbers up despite the summer heat.

Dubai: Dubai is expected to see an influx of visitors in the summer from the GCC due to events such as the Dubai Summer Surprises (DSS), airlines say.

They expect cheap fares and the UAE's events and attractions, as well as the unrest affecting other areas of the Middle East, to bring tourists into the UAE despite the soaring temperatures.

Senior airline officials also say activities such as shopping are sought after by tourists who see Dubai as an all-round and complete destination.

Ahmad Khoury, Emirates Senior Vice President for Commercial Operations in the Gulf, Middle East and Iran, said: "The demand for travel to Dubai during summer is high, and travellers want to take advantage of the shopping opportunities in addition to visiting landmarks in the city.

"Emirates continues to provide special offers during the summer months to promote Dubai as an ideal holiday destination."

He added: "We promote Dubai through our marketing channels that span six continents, and we have actively promoted special offers available for the ‘Summer in Dubai' campaign that features Dubai Summer Surprises, Ramadan in Dubai and ‘Eid in Dubai'. Emirates is currently witnessing increased passenger traffic from the GCC, Iran and the Middle East."

Gaith Al Gaith, CEO of flydubai, said: "Flydubai is seeing an increased demand for flights to Dubai from the GCC and Middle East."

Increase

He also said that the budget carrier had seen an increase of 200 per cent in passenger numbers since its launch in 2009.

In order to attract tourists to Dubai during the DSS, airlines are providing special offers to passengers.

Some airlines have introduced integrated promotional offers — group value offers in which customers are provided fare discounts and five-star hotel packages in addition to access to events and recreational activities in Dubai.

Emirates airline is collaborating with institutions and tourism entities to market Dubai as a summer destination all through the year.

This year, as part of the "young flyers" programme, Emirates has introduced a global campaign featuring a summer in Dubai — aimed at attracting more families during the DSS.

The offer was launched at the start of the Dubai Summer Surprises and is valid until September 30 this year.

Emirates is also offering combined hotel and air travel packages and some of the packages are in partnership with The Dubai Mall that offers children below the age of 12 free access to recreational activities.

The programme also offers children free entry to a number of attractions, including the Dubai Dolphinarium, Ski Dubai and Wild Wadi.

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