Dubai offers a multitude of Instagrammable locations. Not for nothing is the city in the Top 10 rankings worldwide on this particular detail. Image Credit: Supplied by All for the Gram

Dubai: Forget the maps and travel guides – provide the locations with the best Instagram possibilities. A travel firm in Dubai is offering just such a choice.

Beyond the desert safaris, guided city tours and boat trips, the All For The Gram travel firm offers trips to Insta-worthy locations in Dubai and the UAE. This services also involves conducting photo and video shoots done by professionals.

“The days of using hard-copy printed travel guides is numbered, brought on by social media platforms and their ability to allow users to share content,” said Angelo Vassiliades, founder of All for the Gram. “People use Instagram to decide where they want to go.”

  1. Al Seef - because its purpose-built 1950s-style souk giving visitors a glimpse into Dubai's past.
  2. DIFC and its surrounding areas because of its architecture and views of the Dubai skyline.
  3. The Dubai desert because of its vast, pristine expanse and towering sand dunes.
  4. Dubai's coastal landmarks because of the completely different perspective offered while on the Arabian Gulf.
  5. All of Downtown Dubai, because of so many landmarks in one location.

Among the top spots

Dubai is already ranked in the Top 10 most Instagrammable places in the world, being home to architecture that pushes the limits, glitzy hotels and malls, lots of nature and more. According to Vassiliades, the social media platform is a “serious discovery tool, with more than one billion active monthly users who post more than 100 million photos each day. This, in effect, has made it the travel guidebook of today.”

Even major global travel companies found the need to offer progressive millennial-targeted services. “We knew that social media was a huge influence when people were searching for inspiration,” said Kathryn Wallington, Head of Middle East and Africa at Travelport, a digital travel solutions company. “Our research showed three quarters of travellers nearly always used photos or videos posted on social media to research their trips.

“We also realized that travelers used an average of 10 to 12 apps throughout the searching, booking, and traveling parts of their trip.”

Travelport has created a ‘Look & Book’ feature for EasyJet, which allows users to browse Instagram, take screen grabs of photos they see and then upload. Advanced image recognition techniques are then used to identify the location to match the photo to a destination.

The app feature, conceived by VCCP, not only recognizes the destination, but also suggests the nearest airport and pre-populates the booking form with details. In the first month after launch, travelers put over 10,000 images through the feature, resulting in some 8,600 matched photos and 458 bookings.

The team offers guidance on how to pose for the camera. We also add in extra props and offer dress/wardrobe rentals, and hair and make-up services which we arrange in advance

- Angelo Vassiliades, founder of All for the Gram

Not everything is equal

“Our research into the realm of trust this year has shown us that there’s a lot of nuance travel companies should be aware of,” Wallington said. For example, social media influencers are one of the sources of information people trust the least when they are researching a trip. Paid endorsements are naturally a lot less credible according to Travelpoty.

A savvy travel company should find ways to encourage word-of-mouth reviews, or, at least take a curatorial approach and give helpful recommendations to travelers.

We realized that travelers used an average of 10 to 12 apps throughout the searching, booking, and traveling parts of their trip

- Kathryn Wallington, Head of Middle East and Africa at Travelport