Dubai – MENA Herald: Dubai’s presence at this year’s World Travel Market (WTM), taking place in London from 2-5 November, highlights the continual appeal of Dubai to visitors from the UK and Europe, with Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) joined by 62 top Dubai tourism brands to deliver the message that families should put Dubai top of their list as their 2016 must-visit destination.

Speaking at WTM, Issam Kazim, CEO of Dubai Tourism, said: “Dubai’s range of attractions, experiences and events already holds great appeal for families from across all of our source markets, and with four major theme parks opening in Dubai next year, this is set to be significantly enhanced. Coming in the midst of our first ever global destination marketing campaign, which positions Dubai as a city of endless possibilities, we are here at WTM to show why families across the UK and Europe will recognise our emirate as THE destination of choice for 2016.”

The UK has always been one of Dubai’s best performing markets, featuring among the top three source markets for inbound tourism for more than ten years in a row. Of Dubai’s record total of 13.2 million international overnight visitors last year, over one million came from the UK, underlining the market’s strength and importance.

Speaking prior to WTM at a gala dinner held on 29 October for Dubai Tourism’s UK trade partners, Issam Kazim said:The enduring relationship between leisure and business travellers from the UK is in no small part due to the UK travel industry and its close partnership with Dubai stakeholders. We will continue to invest in the UK market and have set the ambitious but no doubt achievable goal of welcoming in excess of two million visitors per year from the UK by the start of the next decade.”

Spread across digital, traditional and static media, Dubai’s recently rolled out destination marketing campaign is designed to bring a new level of destination awareness to the market, opening minds to all that is possible in Dubai, and ensuring more and more travellers see Dubai as their holiday or business destination of choice. In its first month, the campaign’s brand video, titled ‘The Spirit of Dubai’, has already received over 10 million hits on YouTube. The video can be seen at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WfTJL_h0XfY.

The emirate’s ambitious plans to make Dubai the world’s number one family holiday destination will be facilitated by numerous exciting new deliveries to add to Dubai’s existing family attractions, including the openings of four theme parks next year.

The first to open – in early 2016 – will be IMG Worlds of Adventure, which will be the world’s largest indoor theme park offering year-round fun and excitement for all ages. Conveniently located 20 minutes from both of Dubai’s airports, the project comprises four themed zones – Cartoon Network, Lost Valley Dinosaur Adventure, MARVEL and IMG Boulevard. All of these are housed within a 1.5 million square foot temperature-controlled indoor space that also includes a vast retail and F&B offering. The central feature of Dubai’s WTM stand, IMG will be showcasing its attractions to attendees who will get a chance to learn more about this innovative theme park, as well as meet their favourite cartoon characters and superheroes.

Lennard Otto, General Manager, IMG Worlds of Adventure, commented, “We are delighted that IMG Worlds of Adventure is being supported by Dubai Tourism at World Travel Market. When it opens early next year, IMG Worlds of Adventure will be Dubai’s first world-class theme park and a huge draw for tourists from around the globe. We have partnered with MARVEL and Cartoon Network, two of the world’s biggest entertainment brands, and will feature year-round thrills for up to 20,000 visitors a day. Participating at World Travel Market provides a great opportunity for us to meet and work with international travel and tourism partners, which is key for us as a global leisure destination.”

The remaining three theme parks to open next year together make up Dubai Parks & Resorts, situated in the Jebel Ali area of South Dubai. Motiongate Dubai is inspired by all things Hollywood, Bollywood Dubai takes its theme from India’s colourful movie industry, while Legoland Dubai will bring to life the famous toy bricks from Denmark. Meraas Holding, the developer behind Dubai Parks & Resorts, is also attending WTM, hosting a stand situated next to Dubai Tourism’s.

Other attractions coming up include Dubai Safari Project and Wire World Meydan Adventure Park, all of which will greatly enhance Dubai’s appeal among families. These are complemented by the emirate’s existing inventory of popular family attractions that includes the likes of Wild Wadi and Aquaventure waterparks, Ski Dubai, Kidzania, Segaworld Bounce Middle East, and a host of family-friendly accommodation options.

With Dubai having welcomed an unprecedented number of visitors from the UK over the 2015 summer period, it is clear that the emirate also presents a great value summer destination.  Summer travellers can benefit from the year’s best deals at hotels, resorts and attractions across the city, while city-wide events such as Dubai Summer Surprises ensure there’s never a dull moment. In addition, with indoor attractions on the rise – including IMG Worlds of Adventure – travellers can choose from a wealth of experiences and activities no matter the temperature outdoors.

Dubai’s cultural offering will also be a key focus during WTM, enhanced by the presence of the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding (SMCCU) on the Dubai Tourism stand. With its philosophy of “Open doors, open minds”, the SMCCU offers one of the emirate’s most rewarding cultural experiences, both for visitors and residents, and this will be the Centre’s first time in the UK. Representatives will be on hand to answer all questions on Emirati culture and customs and the local religion of Islam, the goal being to help dispel common misconceptions and myths about Dubai and the wider UAE.

Also featured on the Dubai Tourism stand will be Dubai 360, which uses special immersive ocular technology to give visitors the chance to virtually discover Dubai and experience the different parts of the city and its many adventure activities. The #MyDubai video wall, meanwhile, will showcase all the latest submissions from Dubai residents and visitors on social media channels, revealing the many sides of Dubai beyond the superlatives and headlines.

Commenting further on Dubai’s presence at WTM, Issam Kazim, CEO of Dubai Tourism, said: “As the leading global event for the travel industry and travel media, World Travel Market is a hugely important occasion for Dubai Tourism, enabling us to highlight Dubai’s growing destination offering together with our public and private sector partners and stakeholders. It also gives us the chance to emphasise our commitment to and investment in the UK market in particular, which has consistently been one of our top sources for inbound tourism. We welcome the opportunity to build new partnerships and strengthen existing ones, allowing us to realise Dubai’s Tourism Vision for 2020, which aims to welcome 20 million visitors per year to Dubai by 2020.”