Dubai partners with Tencent as destination seeks to boost China presence

Dubai partners with Tencent as destination seeks to boost China presence

Tencent has signed a memorandum of understanding with Dubai’s Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing to jointly enhance the emirate’s reputation as a sought-after destination.

China-owned Tencent hopes the move will spearhead smart tourism along the route of the Belt & Road Initiative.

Poshu Yeung, vice president of Tencent International Business Group, and Issam Kazim, chief executive of Dubai Corporation for Tourism & Commerce Marketing, signed the deal as a continued commitment to promoting tourism in the destination.

Making use of Tencent’s expertise in Chinese consumer engagement and Dubai Tourism’s influence and network in Dubai, the partnership aims to foster the development of the tourism industry in the destination through elevating Dubai Tourism’s marketing outreach efforts to China consumers.

Yeung said: “Dubai is our first strategic partner in the Middle East and an important flagship city to promote smart tourism.

“Harnessing Tencent’s technologies and platforms and utilising Dubai Tourism’s local influence and network, this partnership will further build the success of our collaboration with Dubai Tourism to promote this unique city.

“We look forward to enhancing overseas travel experience in Dubai with local partners and driving the tourism industry along the Belt and Road.”

With more than 1.04 billion monthly active users as of quarter one of 2018, WeChat and Weixin offer an excellent integrated platform to raise brand awareness among Chinese travellers.

Tencent Social Ad Solutions will enable Dubai Tourism to optimise the return on media investments and reach out to the key target audience segments.

Tencent also provides support to other stakeholders in formulating in-market solutions that are customized to fit specific brand objectives.

Kazim added: “Dubai is increasingly winning the hearts of Chinese tourists as a thrilling and exotic destination.

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“We at Dubai Tourism are excited to strengthen our relationship with Tencent to further utilise its hugely popular and respected platforms.

“Our ongoing partnership to build affinity with our Chinese target audiences has been overwhelmingly successful.

“Through the extension of our agreement, Chinese travellers will receive targeted social feeds about our city’s offerings and enjoy a more immersive discovery of Dubai.”

WeChat first rolled out the CityExperience Mini Program in November 2017 to offer an interactive platform for Dubai Tourism to connect with Chinese travellers.

As Tencent’s offerings increasingly penetrate Dubai’s tourism sector, the program could also be enhanced with Tencent Cloud’s suite of smart travel solutions to provide value-added functions such as AI customer service, which can be further utilized to facilitate Chinese tourists’ travel experience in Dubai.

Such feature will enable Dubai Tourism to solve Chinese tourists’ enquiries in real-time in a more efficient way.

The Chinese tourists insights will benefit tourism industry in Dubai to elevate their “China ready” offering.

Tencent Cloud will continue to incorporate an array of advanced offerings such as cloud computing, IoT, AI and big data to work towards a Smart Dubai.

Through Dubai Tourism’s industry influence and network in Dubai, Tencent hopes to promote its offerings including WeChat and WeChat Pay as an option for convenient and secure mobile payment among Chinese tourists at local merchants.

On the other hand, Dubai Tourism will also encourage Dubai merchants to adopt and leverage Tencent Cloud and ad solutions to enhance the overall experience of Chinese visitors and drive spending from this massive consumer group.

To deepen Dubai Tourism’s understanding of Chinese visitors, Tencent will provide users insights which serve as basis for them to develop targeted marketing strategies that tap into Chinese travellers’ behaviours and preferences.

In addition, Tencent will also offer recommendations for other local stakeholders to open or improve their WeChat Official Accounts in order to build brand awareness more effectively.

With this new partnership in place and more collaborative initiatives to come, Dubai will certainly gain popularity as a destination of choice for Chinese travellers.