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GM Leaders conference


Event review

Keynote address: Life after expo 2020

Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) CEO Issam Kazim If Dubai’s Expo 2020 is going to be a success then the hospitality industry has to show that the city has much more to offer than twoor three-day experiences. This was the message from Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) CEO Issam Kazim during his keynote presentation. “A lot of people are aware of the landmark projects in Dubai but over the years people have not realised there is a depth to Dubai’s offering as well,” he said. “We are emphasising the cultural and heritage side of Dubai. We have to make people realise that Dubai is well beyond a twoor three-day destination. We know that a lot of people come to Dubai for the first time because they are sent by their company for an exhibition and they don’t know what to expect.” He said the key is to make sure business travellers come

back again and extend their stays for the next business visit or with their family and friends. Kazim said that if visitors have enjoyable stays, full of different activities, it will lead to much more positive word of mouth. He highlighted the restaurants, souks and abras as examples of the experiences that Dubai offers. The challenge, Kazim said, is to position Dubai to different markets with different needs. Expo 2020 is a means to an end to making Dubai the number one global family destination, he added. “We were number seven in 2013 when we first started to monitor our progress. We jumped to number five the year after and then have stayed at number four after that,” he said. Dubai welcomed 14.9 million tourists last year, with Paris’ figure of just over 18 million, the next target for the emirate.

Global Megatrends and their impact on the middle east A new report from PwC Middle East shows that climate change and resource scarcity will have a significant impact on the region’s hospitality industry. Dr. Martin Berlin, deals partner at PwC Middle East presented the report, ‘Global megatrends… and their impact on the Middle East’s travel and tourism industry’. He commented: “Climate change and resource scarcity is very important. If you look at the population growth we are expecting, we will require 50% more energy, 40% more water and 45% more food compared to current levels. “It’s important to look at these factors and address them proactively before it’s too late. For example, in the GCC, 80% of the water is coming out of de-salination, which is very energy consuming and over a long period,

is not sustainable. How we deal with water in the hospitality industry is going to play an important role going forward – we need to start managing this now.” Dr. Berlin suggested that instead of allowing guests unlimited access to water, this should be restricted. “We need to educate and raise awareness, for example we’re already regulating the water in the shower a certain amount but instead of the customer volunteering, it would be about forcing the customer to save the environment.” In addition to climate change and water scarcity, the report highlighted four other major shifts in the industry, including demographic and social change, a shift in global economic powers, rapid urbanisation and technological breakthroughs.

Dr Martin Berlin



Hotel News ME- June 2017  
Hotel News ME- June 2017