- Strategy 2015
- The Department
- Customer Charter
- Industry Segments
- Projects & Initiatives
- Department of Inspections and Tourism Permits Section
Cruise Tourism is becoming an increasingly popular ‘leisure choice’ worldwide.
Cruises, which were at one time considered the prerogative of the rich, the only option for the aged and the natural choice for honeymooners, is today fast reaching a wider leisure market.
Representing one of the fastest growing sectors worldwide, the cruise market trends indicate a qualitative as well as quantitative consolidation in the industry, with cruising gaining greater significance in the global ‘tourism pie’ and successful seizing a significant ‘niche’ market.
Asia has responded proactively to the global cruise tourism developments and the response of Asia to the global cruise tourism activity has been significant and very meaningful. Singapore became one of the fastest growing ports in the world through positioning its Cruise Centre and international airport as a real connecting hub for the region. Malaysia to has joined in the ‘cruise’ market with every intention of gaining a market share from Singapore.
Given this development, and the fact that the Middle East/Arabian Gulf and the Indian Ocean are on the shipping route from west to east and vice versa, these locations are strongly emerging as cruise destinations as well.
Further, the cruise tourists represent a rich and demanding category with high expectation regarding comforts aboard the liner, variety of activities on board, and a variety of destinations at every port, state of the art conveniences during transit and a ‘seamless’ travel. Cruise liners have equally high requirements from the ports at which they call, principal expectations being proximity of access to major markets, quality and availability of port infrastructure and services, competitive cost of port services, capacity of the port to accommodate and process high volumes of passengers efficiently and the quality of the destination in terms of shore based attractions available.
Recognising this potential, DTCM formally set up a department in 1997 to handle and promote cruise tourism although it had been receiving ships since the mid 1990’s with its first ship with 700 plus passengers berthing in Dubai in 1993. DTCM then operated with a temporary terminal until it established a large modern cruise terminal to actively attract and promote the cruise industry in the region in 2001. Today Dubai is clearly the cruise hub of the Middle East.
Dubai is considered as the home to one of the best cruise terminals and its world-class facility received global recognition when it won the best cruise terminal prize in a trade show in Miami in the US.
For more information about the cruise facilities and schedules, please visie DefinitelyDubai.com
In 2002 it formed the Dubai Convention Bureau (DCB) to conduct all international bids on behalf of the emirate for attracting major events to Dubai.
The DCB also carries out comprehensive promotional activities that relate to Dubai as a meetings and conventions destination and organizes and participates in trade shows, workshops and road shows and prepares all collateral to promote Dubai as a leading business tourism destination.
Dubai is known as the ‘sporting capital’ of the Middle East for no small reason. Its climate and first-class sporting facilities make it an ideal place to host international, regional and local sporting events.
Visitors and residents alike can lead an action-packed life or enjoy an energetic holiday. The variety of sports events and sporting activities range from deep-sea fishing to ice-skating, and sand skiing in the desert. From golf on international standard grass courses to rugby, cricket, tennis and power boat racing. Dubai also keeps the traditional sports of horse racing camel racing and falconry alive through various events. Dubai hosts the following international championships:
Dubai World Cup – the richest horse race in the world
Dubai Classic - the golf championship
Barclays Dubai Tennis for both men and women
UIM World Powerboat racing
Dubai International Rally
Dubai Snooker Classic
The UAE Desert Challenge
The World Tourism Organisation predicts that the trendiest destinations of the future will be the tops of the highest mountains, the depths of the oceans and the ends of the earth! The changing tastes of tourists worldwide is taking them away from the traditional packaged, beach or shopping based mass tourism destinations to the more personalised, life enhancing travel.
Eco tourism is defined as “tourism rooted in the notion of honouring the environment and impacting it as little as possible.” Some define it as “tourism to exotic or threatened ecosystems to observe wildlife or to help preserve nature.” In either case, it entails visits to undisturbed areas high in natural beauty or biodiversity that strives to minimize ecological impact or damage. Such is the attraction of eco-tourism, that it is has become the fastest growing segment of the tourism industry, estimated to be increasing 20% annually compared with 7% for tourism overall.
Dubai is well positioned in that it offers eco-tourism alongside traditional packages to its tourists. One major eco-tourism attraction is country’s largest bird sanctuary at Ras al Khor. This huge natural tidal lagoon is located only 5 minutes drive from the centre of Dubai and the site hosts up to 15,000 birds on any winter’s day, with Greater Flamingo being one of the most Abundant species. The other is Emirates Al Maha Desert Resort and Spa. This secluded and protected area is at the core of the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve that nurtures the key components of the ecosystem, from flora and faun to water systems. The area is also home to the Arabian Oryx and gazelles that have been specially released there to conserve and breed.
With state of the art infrastructure, unbelievable luxury offerings, Dubai ranks among the top tourism destinations around the world. Over a period of time Dubai has evolved itself to be a major player in world health tourism by offering a variety of medical procedures to visitors in search of quality health care at affordable prices.
Medical facilities in Dubai are available at a low cost and can be compared to the standards of USA and UK. Dubai has been promoting its medical tourism industry and its cosmetic surgeries are known to attract tourists from all across the world who can also indulge the luxuries on display in the shopping malls and enjoy the freedom of duty free shopping.
There are many qualified doctors, including American Board Certified, in Dubai offering cosmetic surgery operating through hospitals and boutique clinics. Few among these are American Hospital, Belhoul European Hospital, Cosmesurge, Welcare Hospital. Major procedures such as Hip & Knee replacement are being carried out at Dubai bone & joint centre.
Dubai Health Care city (DHCC) which was formed with the objective of providing quality healthcare to patients and integrated centre for clinical & wellness, medical education and research within an informed regulatory network will be the largest international medical centre located between Europe and Southeast Asia. It, will offer a wide range of medical services for visitors as well as world-class medical education and research.
With rising healthcare costs and hospital waiting times in Europe and the US, medical tourism has become a booming industry. Not surprisingly, Dubai is eager to gain a slice of this growing market and quickly moved to bring its health care sector up to international standards.
Dubai has always promoted itself as a destination for its sun, sand, surf and shopping. Now, it can add ‘spas’ to that list as yet another reason why Dubai is definitely a preferred global tourist destination!
The latest attraction is the thriving spa and relaxation industry that is appealing to many tourists from around the world. Tourists are coming to Dubai in large numbers in search of healthy and luxurious holidays and it fast becoming one of the hotspots of ‘spa tourism.’
The emirate has one of the highest concentrations of spas per capita in the world! This growth in the spa industry reflects the trend of today's hectic society where people are now seeking a high-quality spa and wellness experience. Dubai provides a diverse and world-class spa offering where visitors can expect the best spa facilities in a variety of settings whether it's the beach, the city or the desert.
This age-old wellness treatment dating back to the times of ancient Rome is taking on a new meaning in Dubai with themed spas and designer spas such as the Georgio Armani designed Spa. The wave of well being and health is part of a more generic move towards more varied holidays and a desire to seek out new experiences, which are in general more active and focused than a traditional beach holiday. There is therefore scope to breathe new life into certain aspects of the tired and well-worn package holiday format. And Dubai caters to this opportunity in style.
Spa Tourism complements Medical tourism and it is anticipated that the spa industry will continue to expand at both ends of the market, both in the luxury, holiday segment and the regular, routine treatment sector with prices to suit most pockets. Spas in hotels are now commonplace and it is anticipated that over 200 hotels will be offering world class spa and wellness facilities by 2010 in the Emirates alone.
This is a relatively new area of specialization for Dubai. However the genesis of this began with the establishment of Dubai Knowledge Village and the Dubai Academic City.
Today, a wide range of educational programs is available in the emirate. These courses have not only provided a very viable and good quality option for residents in Dubai, but it has also attracted and continues to attract students from the neighbouring countries. The courses are offered and run by reputed colleges and institutions from the UK, US, Australia and India, among others. They span the arts and sciences and include Diploma, Graduate and Post Graduate programs. The courses also include vocational programs and executive education. The key benefit to visitors and residents doing these programs in Dubai over studying in foreign countries is that they are not only more cost-effective but allow the students to live with family and/or friends and enjoy a safe and comfortable environment in Dubai. DTCM, in its own rights too has contributed to this sector with its efforts on providing courses related to the hospitality and travel and trade industry in collaboration with specialists in the field.