Speaking at a panel at the Arabian Travel Market Exhibition (ATM) 2014 in Dubai today (Monday, May 5), Helal Saeed Al Marri, CEO of Dubai World Trade Centre and director-general at Dubai Tourism and Commerce Marketing, assured attendees that Dubai is progressing as planned, while gearing up for Expo 2020.
Speaking with AMEinfo.com on the sidelines of the ATM 2014, he says: “We currently have infrastructure that is second to none and, today, that infrastructure is being continually developed and improved upon. Many of you see projects around Dubai that are being developed, such as the tram in Al Sufouh area, along with new roads and bridges. There are also big investments [being made] into [developing] buses and taxis and the extension of the Metro, as well as telecom, health and education, so all of these investments and infrastructures are under way. They never slowed down from 2007 and continue to be developed and invested in.”
He, thus, assured citizens and residents alike that their standard of life will not be diminished due to the large number of incoming tourists in the next few years.
Other panel speakers included Ghaith Al Ghaith, CEO of flydubai; Thierry Antinori, executive vice-president and CCO of Emirates Airlines; and, Neil Jones, chief sales and marketing officer for the Middle East and Africa at Marriott International.
On the aviation front, airlines in the nation are setting a new focus on branding themselves in the most efficient way possible and continue to strive to provide the best possible service. Al Ghaith says: “We don’t want to sell our product ‘Dubai’ at a standard less than what Dubai is supposed to be, which is a high standard.”
Antinori adds: “The challenge for 2020 is to meet the demand in services, while developing the brand and have the best airlift in the world, and continue to accelerate in terms of quality.”
The panel also discussed the impact that an influx of tourists will have on the hotel industry and if there are any imminent changes that need to be made in the country.
“With the Tourism Vision and exciting announcements that were made recently, we believe that Marriott International will offer 10,000 rooms by 2020, which is quite a number, considering we have 3,500 rooms today,” says Jones.