Dubai’s Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing (DTCM) in partnership with Emirates, and a range of Dubai hotels and attractions, has shown 280 Australian and New Zealand agents some of the very best that the destination has to offer in a five day ‘mega’ famil (familiarisation trip) in the emirate. The programme was organised by DTCM’s Australia and New Zealand office, one of 19 offices that DTCM operates across the globe.
Saleh Mohamed Al Geziry, Director of Overseas Promotions and Inward Missions commented: “This mega familiarisation trip came at an opportune time with the recent announcement of the partnership between Emirates and Qantas, which ultimately makes Dubai much more accessible to travellers in the region. As such, the Australian and New Zealand travel industry are extremely positive about the potential for growth in visitors from their region to Dubai. Having had such an exciting and informative visit, they left Dubai as ambassadors for our city and will play a significant role in driving that growth.”
The number of visitors from Australia and New Zealand in 2012 was 226,703 making it the twelfth biggest source market for Dubai. With Dubai as the main hub city between Australasia and Europe as a feature of the new airline partnership, DTCM expect to see significant growth from the region in the coming year. With the partnership adding 14 more flights with daily Qantas flights from Melbourne and Sydney, there are now 98 flights a week between Australia and Dubai.
The famil participants were travel consultants who registered and logged Emirates flights and Dubai stopover package sales. The top achieving agents travelled from all parts of Australia and New Zealand to Dubai where they took part in an action packed itinerary that highlighted areas of old and new Dubai as a perfect destination for a multitude of travellers including families, thrill seekers, couples, shopaholics, food lovers, or culture enthusiasts.
In this year’s ‘bigger and better’ Emirates and Dubai Tourism famil, agents had the opportunity to explore Dubai on their own in a competitive race day around the city. The ‘Race Around Dubai’ incorporated 12 challenges around the city that were designed to help agents experience attractions in an entirely new and unique way. Some of the locations around the city included Ski Dubai, “At The Top” Burj Khalifa, Dubai Mall, Wild Wadi, and Madinat Jumeirah Souk.
The RTA supported DTCM with dedicated metros for the group on a Friday morning. DMCs in Dubai that supported this important trip included ground operators Arabian Adventures, Travco, Gulf Ventures and Desert Adventures.
City tours showcased Dubai’s cultural highlights at the gold and spice souks, the old town of Bastakiya and Dubai Museum. A lunch at the Sheikh Mohamed Centre of Cultural Understanding provided an introduction to Emirati traditions proved to be a highpoint for many of the agents. A treasure hunt in the Lost Chambers and at Aquaventure in Atlantis revealed the hidden surprises of the water park. And a quintessential desert safari was the perfect way to end the Dubai experience.
An industry workshop was also held on the last day for agents to receive updates on the destinations key sponsors and the morning commenced with a session from Biz Events – Beats Work to energise the agents. This was followed by presentations, workshop sessions with 34 key industry partners and a lunch sponsored by Jumeirah Emirates Towers.
With five accommodation partners supporting the mega famil, agents enjoyed stays at world class luxury hotels. These included the tallest hotel in the world the JW Marriott Marquis; some of the nine Jumeirah resorts and hotels in the city; the Address Hotels and Resorts in Downtown Dubai and the Marina; the Fairmont Dubai, Raffles and the newly opened Fairmont the Palm; as well as the InterContinental Hotel in Dubai Festival City in addition to Al Maha sponsoring the accommodation and dinner for the top achievers.
Dinners at the Hard Rock Café, Raffles, JW Marriot Marquis, Address Hotels and Resorts and Atlantis the Palm helped to showcase the emirate’s diverse gastronomy scene.