Tourists raring to see Dubai start reaching out to travel firms

The best-selling tour at the moment is the city tour that covers both the modern and historical aspects of Dubai

  
Dubai Tourism launches ‘Dubai Virtual Backgrounds’ to create a more immersive experience for video call users. Image courtesy Dubai Media Office Twitter handle.

Dubai Tourism launches ‘Dubai Virtual Backgrounds’ to create a more immersive experience for video call users. Image courtesy Dubai Media Office Twitter handle.

Tour operators in Dubai are observing a steady spike in enquiries, since the city threw open its borders to international travellers yesterday.

The emirate laid out a warm welcome for tourists on July 7, the first lot of whom flew in just after midnight on Tuesday to take advantage of the opportunity to travel after months of restrictions worldwide.

While not all industry insiders could attest to seeing movement yet, several of their counterparts noted otherwise. A representative for Rayna Tours said they were receiving a lot of requests from the UK and Turkey.

Nadeem Khalk, owner of Royal Mirage Tours, was hoping to start taking tourists around in a few days, as per the bookings scheduled. He said he has already received about 40 different enquiries for the month of July - "mostly families from Europe".

"Dubai is one of the best destinations for Europe right now," he said. "I expect the number of enquiries to increase as more airports open and countries lift related restrictions."

Their best-selling tour at the moment is the city tour. "It's a six-and-a-half-hour tour that covers both the historical and modern aspects of Dubai."

This sight-seeing experience is the package most requested at City One Tours, too, according to digital marketing manager Enayethullah Mohammed.

"We have about five to 10 enquiries coming in daily. Dubai has always been a draw for travellers, especially with events like Dubai Summer Surprises (which starts tomorrow)."

'Tourists believe Dubai is safe'

Operators noted they're also seeing a lot of interest from the region. Farzana Sameer, general manager at Dadabhai Travel, said their firm was getting a lot of queries from parties in the GCC with a "keen interest" in visiting Dubai.

"For the most part, they want to understand how things are on the ground and are seeking more clarity about formalities, which activities are open, etc," she noted.

In a day, about eight to 10 enquiries come in from the region and other Far East markets like Vietnam, said Farzana.

"The Middle East market is already buzzing, but I'm really looking forward to having that increase closer to Eid."

Surprisingly, they weren't making too many queries about safety, she added. "Perhaps they presume Dubai is safe, because the information they seek is mostly about the travel procedures and requirements."

Mujahid Farooq, sales and marketing manager at Skyland Tourism, said that while travellers who had originally confirmed bookings for this month had rescheduled for later this year, the firm had begun hearing from many of their business clients.

"We can see all the precautions and security measures that authorities in Dubai have been undertaking in recent weeks in order to open borders to tourists again," he said. "A lot of work has gone into ensuring that the city can offer a safe and enjoyable experience for travellers, so it's definitely an option clients are considering. People are always keen to travel to Dubai, and we are looking forward to welcoming more of them soon."

karen@khaleejtimes.com

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