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Zac Efron in a YouTube screengrab of the new Dubai Tourism campaign featuring the Hollywood star Image Credit: Dubai Tourism

As the new trailer of Dubai Tourism’s celebrity-led media campaign was unveiled in the emirate featuring Zac Efron and Jessica Alba, hours before the global rollout, the CEO of the Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DCTCM) seemed bullish about the influx of visitors to the emirate just weeks before Expo 2020 Dubai will commence on October 1.

“There is a big interest in the destination already and we know that this is getting into the peak season of what Dubai is famous for,” Issam Kazim told Gulf News. “From January to July, Dubai roughly welcomed 3 million visitors and if you look at July 2020 to July 2021, that number comes to about 4.55 million. And that’s because the markets have opened and the flight capacities are increasing.”

“The appetite in terms of booking, because that’s what we look at in terms of KPI, you can see that there’s a floodgate and soon as it is lifted, people are going to flock to Dubai,” Kazim continued.

The ‘floodgate’ is being buoyed by a campaign that has seen Hollywood stars welcome the world the emirate ahead of the Expo 2020 Dubai. In the third film in a series that has earlier seen Efron and Alba battle goons and spark a romance in the emirate, ties in with the Expo’s futuristic theme. A young Efron is confronted by his suave and much dapper looking older version, who has come in from the future to teach him the tricks of the trade in the emirate, before he will eventually cross paths with his ladylove in the form of Alba.

On the journey of self discovery, the duo visit the old souks, taken an adventure in the desert and go skydiving in the process.

Kazim told Gulf News that several more trailers featuring the celebrities will be unveiled before the year draws to a close, adding that the Dubai Tourism films perfectly complement the Emirates campaign that was launched a day earlier that saw Marvel star Chris Hemsworth invite the world to Expo 2020 Dubai.

Jessica Alba in the YoTube screengrab of the Dubai Tourism campaign
Jessica Alba in the YouTube screengrab of the Dubai Tourism Campaign Image Credit: Dubai Tourism

“We are building the excitement with trailers like this and other efforts that we have in place are all complementing each other to boost the numbers in terms of visitors and hotel bookings,” Kazim said.

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Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan in the new #BeMyGuest campaign video Image Credit: Supplied

The Dubai Tourism CEO revealed that a lot of thought had gone into selecting the two Hollywood stars to be the face of the emirate on a global platform, which was similar to their efforts that saw them team up with Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan in the past, along with actors Gwyneth Paltrow, Zoe Saldana and Kate Hudson.

Gwyneth Paltrow, Zoe Saldana, Kate Hudson
Gwyneth Paltrow, Zoe Saldana, Kate Hudson Image Credit: Supplied

“Every campaign that we have launched has resonated with a particular audience. When we teamed up with SRK [Khan], it was to draw focus on Dubai being an ideal destination, not just for an Asian audience, but for a popular industry such as Bollywood to look at the emirate as a place to shoot films,” Kazim revealed. “Similarly, we worked with the African market, followed by a campaign with Gwyneth Paltrow, Zoe Saldana and Kate Hudson that showcased a different aspect of Dubai.”

Issam Kazim CEO of Dubai Tourism,
Issam Kazim, CEO of Dubai Tourism. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Kazim continued: “With Zac and Jessica, we are resonating with a wide base of visitors, across young adults, families and thrill-seekers. Our ultimate message is we are open and we are planning on remaining open by working together as a unit to make this happen.”

With Efron and Alba helping to catapult Dubai into the second most visited city this season, can we expect such campaigns to fuel demand?

“Before the year ends, we will have six celebrity-led trailers that will launch, showcasing what Dubai has to offer and more. The reach of the stars and their branding is on point for how we are looking to position the emirate to the world,” he said.