Dubai – MENA Herald: Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) hosted 200 competition winners from Nigeria to experience the annual Dubai Shopping Festival as well as the city’s array of world-class entertainment offerings.

The competition, supported by local venues and radio stations, was part of an ongoing objective to position Dubai as destination of choice for tourists from African destinations and followed the launch of the city’s advertising and consumer campaign at the Akwaaba African Travel Market.

Dubai continues to focus on key African markets, with Dubai Tourism running a series of road shows and trade events across the region in 2015, in addition to making its debut at Akwaaba African Travel Market, which annually attracts over 10,000 people from over 20 countries.

Issam Kazim, CEO – Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing said: “Africa is a key growth market for us, and we are seeing positive results from our sustained outreach efforts on the continent. There is huge potential to grow our tourism base from Nigeria and sub-Saharan Africa, and as such we continue to diversify our investment through participation in events such as the Akwaaba African Travel Market and broader sustained initiatives such as road-shows and FAM excursions. As such, we were delighted to welcome the 200 competition winners from Nigeria to experience firsthand the array of attractions and entertainment experiences that Dubai has to offer.”

Arriving in January, the competition winners were treated to a four-night stay at the spectacular JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai, the tallest hotel in the world. During the stay, the winners also enjoyed various Dubai Shopping Festival events at Global Village, The Dubai Mall and Mall of The Emirates, as well as at Dubai’s first authentic African fine dining experience at KIZA Restaurant and Lounge.

Leon Fieoku, a competition winner from Nigeria, said of his experience: “Dubai far exceeded my expectations. From the hospitality of the people, to the mega-structures, the purity of the environment, to the hotels, they were all mind-blowing. I was told I only got to see 10 per cent of what Dubai offers, so I’m curious to see the remaining 90 per cent, and have begun plans to revisit Dubai with my whole family later this year.”

Dubai Tourism will continue to engage African travellers in 2016 through a series of promotional activities highlighting Dubai Food Festival, Dubai Summer Surprises, Eid in Dubai and many more events. Annual figures released by Dubai Tourism show the emirate attracted over 14.2 million overnight visitors in 2015, recording a strong 7.5% increase over 2014, with Africa representing more than 700,000 visitors last year.