Dubai – MENA Herald: Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) hosted a special gala dinner at the end of January at the prestigious Palazzo Serbelloni in Milan to reiterate Dubai’s commitment to the Italian market and launch its new partnership with Italian destination marketing agency Interface Tourism.
The event was attended by key members of the Italian media and tourism industry, the UAE Consul General, Noora Juma, as well as Dubai Tourism CEO Issam Kazim, who used the opportunity to reconfirm the importance of Italian travellers in the emirate’s plans as it targets 20 million visitors per year by 2020, as set out in Dubai’s Tourism Vision for 2020.
Kazim said: “The ties between Italy and the United Arab Emirates stretch far and wide, across business, trade and strategic cooperation. Italy is an important and growing market for Dubai, featuring in our top 20 source markets for inbound tourism. We welcomed close to 200,000 Italian visitors last year, and we see great potential to increase this. With strong airlift into Dubai from Italy and with Emirates Airline already flying directly into four Italian gateways, this will continue to be of strategic purpose.”
A total of 56 direct flights per week currently operate between Dubai and Rome, Milan, Venice and Bologna, with the relatively short flying time of five and a half hours making the emirate a popular and convenient destination for both short weekend breaks and longer stays. Dubai’s multitude of luxury holiday resorts, long stretches of sandy beach, growing cultural and heritage attractions and experiences, and the warm waters of the Arabian Gulf all combine to make Dubai an attractive proposition for Italian travellers.
With spring a particularly popular time for travel among Italians, Kazim stressed the numerous experiences, events and festivals taking place in Dubai during the season, while also highlighting the emirate as a great value summer destination, when travellers can benefit from the year’s best deals at hotels, resorts and attractions. Dubai Tourism’s recently launched brand campaign, “The Spirit of Possible”, was also presented at the event, highlighting all that is possible in Dubai across the full spectrum of the emirate’s destination offering.
Commenting on the occasion, UAE Consul General, Noora Juma, said: “The visit of Dubai Tourism representatives in Milano to organise such an event is a reflection of the importance Dubai places on the Italian market and Italian tourists. Dubai has a lot to offer Italian visitors, and visiting the emirate is a great choice, giving the opportunity to experience the uniqueness of the place, not only as a metropolitan city but also as one with roots, culture and traditions. I am honoured to have been part of the event and to have participated in the efforts aimed at opening our doors and inviting Italians, and the wider world, to share with us the beauty of our country and learn about our story.”
Connections between Dubai and Italy can be seen across the hospitality sector, with the emirate recently opening the ultra-luxurious Palazzo Versace Dubai, designed by the famous Italian fashion house, complementing the flagship Armani Hotel Dubai, at home in the world’s tallest tower, the Burj Khalifa. In addition, numerous high-profile Italian chefs have a presence in Dubai, including Michelin-starred Alfredo Russo and Giorgio Locatelli. In terms of events, meanwhile, Dubai will be hosting the World Expo in 2020, following in the footsteps of Milan, which hosted the event in 2015.