Dubai – MENA Herald: Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism), together with more than 50 partners and co-exhibitors, highlighted Dubai’s upcoming attractions and the emirate’s overall destination offering at ITB Berlin, which took place in Germany from 9-13 March.

With a total of more than 10,000 exhibitors attending from 187 countries, the 50th edition of ITB Berlin continued to prove itself as an ideal international platform for Dubai Tourism to strengthen its ties with existing stakeholders and establish new partnerships with trade professionals from across Germany and wider Europe.

The Dubai pavilion, which included partners such as Dubai Parks & Resorts, Nikki Beach, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts, Al Habtoor City and Alpha Tours, also featured a section dedicated to Dubai Calendar, the emirate’s comprehensive guide to the wide range of cultural, entertainment and sporting events on offer in Dubai throughout the year. Visitors were also shown the city’s leading sights and landmarks through “Dubai 360”, a virtual reality city tour that uses Google Cardboard.

In attendance at the show, CEO of Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing Issam Kazim commented: “Our presence at international trade fairs such as ITB Berlin forms a core part of our activity to continue to raise awareness of Dubai as a diverse travel destination, ultimately helping us to achieve our Tourism Vision for 2020 goal of welcoming 20 million visitors per year by 2020. Germany continues to be one of our top source markets, and the focus for Dubai Tourism and its partners this year is to continue to present the enormous diversity that the emirate can offer visitors, to further support our local partners on the ground in Germany.

“Our Tourism Vision for 2020 remains a reachable target due to our robust year-on-year growth rate, which led to 14.2 million overnight visitors arriving in Dubai in 2015. We aim to keep the momentum going by capitalising on the new attractions set to open, including Dubai Parks and Resorts, IMG Worlds of Adventure and Dubai Opera District, all of which will further enhance and diversify the city’s tourism offering.”

During ITB Berlin, Dubai Tourism was also awarded Best Arabic Tourism Board in Germany by Go Asia, a dynamic marketing alliance that promotes Asia as a holiday destination and unites tourism providers including airlines, tour operators, hotels and tourist boards. The Go Asia Award is held annually at ITB, recognising outstanding industry players with a focus on Asia in various categories.

Germany continues to be a key source market for Dubai, with more than 461,000 German tourists arriving in the emirate last year – a 7 per cent increase over 2014. To drive sustained footfall from the market, Dubai Tourism has undertaken a series of campaigns that focus on promoting aspects of the city identified as the most appealing to German tourists.

For instance, in 2015, Dubai Tourism hosted two familiarisation trips for German travel agents with carefully curated itineraries focused on those aspects of Dubai that most appeal to families and luxury-seeking couples. Following the success of these trips, Dubai will continue to work with a similarly more targeted approach to reach out to the German market in 2016, continuing to position the city as a destination of choice.

In addition, by highlighting Dubai’s expanding accommodation options, particularly in the area of serviced apartments and 3- to 4-star hotels, Dubai aims to target a growing number of value-focused travellers. At the same time, the emirate is also able to take advantage of increased air capacity from Germany, thanks to new and upgraded flights launched by Emirates and Eurowings, opening up Dubai to a larger number of German travellers and offering them greater choice.

Furthermore, Dubai’s growing calendar of events – most recently enhanced with the addition of Dubai Comedy Festival and XYoga Festival Dubai – will help cement the city as a year-round travel destination for families, couples and business travellers.