Sep 15, 2008

'Eid in Dubai' to focus on UAE and GCC residents in first year

Dubai: "Eid in Dubai" celebration, which has been organised by the Dubai Shopping Festival Office (DSFO), is primed to boost the tourism sector.

"During Eid, there is a jump in travellers around the world as people look for destinations to visit during this holiday. With all activities planned for Dubai during this period, it will be one of the key destinations," Laila Sohail, chief executive of DSFO said.

She added that the organisation's objective is to promote Dubai as a top destination during Eid with the help of such events and activities. In the first year, the "focus will be on the UAE and GCC residents to celebrate Eid as one of our religious festivals," she said.

Dilip Waghaye, resident manager at Ramada Hotel said that occupancy rate in hotels in Dubai during the summer has been the lowest in many years. "Many hotels had extremely high rates in the summer and many people left looking for cheaper rates," Waghaye said.

He added that Ramadan particularly sees a low number of guests. The new initiative is coming at an opportune time.

"Eid in Dubai is an excellent idea. I'm sure it will generate a lot of demand and people will have more of a reason to come to Dubai. The GCC market particularly is going to fill this place up," he said.

He adds a word of caution, saying, "I only hope that hotel rates here are not out-priced by other destinations, such as those in the Far East."

An Emirates spokesperson said in a statement, "Dubai Government's tourism initiatives have always been strategic, carefully designed and have had tremendous success in boosting tourism. Emirates supports the new retail and entertainment initiative 'Eid in Dubai' and will align our operations to support the objectives of the government and the programme."

"The festivities will extend for three days each around the Eid Al Fitr and Eid Al Adha, offering shows, activities and events revolving around the cultural and religious aspect of how the holiday is celebrated in Dubai," Laila said.

Meanwhile, Laila said that within the next two years, the month of Ramadan will compliment Dubai Summer Surprises activities. "We will re-work the content and strategy of DSS accordingly," she said "We might even have a Ramadan version of DSS."

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