Dubai: Revenge shopping – UAE has seen that happen for some time now.
Revenge travel? It’s on right now, and a visit to the halls of the Dubai World Trade Centre hosting Arabia Travel Market 2022 provides ample evidence. The lines to enter the halls are getting bigger, and the sentiment among exhibitors is about making up for lost time from 2020-21. A time when visits and B2B interactions were mostly confined to virtual spaces.
ATM will, by quite a stretch, be the biggest event during the second quarter, and providing enough of an occupancy boost for the local travel, tourism and retail sectors. So, what next?
The big new hotel announcements could take some more time, as hotel operators and their developer partners work on the right timing. Because the pandemic has turned the industry cautious about not rushing back with launches.
Dial up the ‘experience’
Experience is the new buzzword for the industry, whether it is Kerzner International wanting a makeover for the Bab Al Shams resort out in the desert, or Kempinski talking about ‘mindful living’ for its project by the Dubai Creek and overlooking the Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary.
“Balancing the reality of life and its constant motion with the need to pause and reflect, Kempinski Residences The Creek is an urban retreat where future owners will discover a healthy balance between work, rest and play,” said Bernold Schroeder, CEO of Kempinski Group and Chairman of Kempinski AG.
If it’s experience that future visitors to Dubai want, there will not be any shortage of it. Kerzner International will soon enough open its second Atlantis-branded destination on the Palm. Just a few months down the line, there will be its One&Only resort attached to the One Za’beel twin-tower.
“Experience can be about anything – the F&B, the entertainment on offer, or even the gym available at the project,” said Philippe Zuber, CEO of Kerzner International. “That’s where the future of hospitality comes from, by being the disruptor.”
In Abu Dhabi, the emirate’s Department of Culture and Tourism has associated with Miral – a developer who prides itself on building an ‘immersive destination’ – launched a new vision for Saadiyat Island. The plan? Position Saadiyat as a ‘leading beach, nature and cultural destination’.
This will sync with the Saadiyat Vision 2025 which aims to draw in 19 million visitors and contribute Dh4.2 billion by way of direct tourism revenue by 2025. “We look forward to elevating awareness of Saadiyat’s enriching experiences as part of Abu Dhabi’s wider offering,” said Saleh Mohamed Saleh Al Geziry, Director-General for Tourism at DCT Abu Dhabi. “From culture and entertainment to landmarks and natural landscapes - all within close proximity to one another - Abu Dhabi is a must-visit destination.”