Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) formed strategic partnerships with two of China’s biggest industry players in Shanghai last week, extending Dubai’s offering to millions of potential travellers in China.
CEO of Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commercial Marketing, Issam Kazim, visited the headquarters of UnionPay International, where he gave a speech to industry guests and media before signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with UnionPay Chief Brand Officer, Dong Li, agreeing collaborative marketing initiatives. Kazim also met with Yu Dunde, CEO of Tuniu, one of China’s biggest online leisure travel service platforms, at another MoU signing ceremony to create a strategic relationship that will further facilitate Chinese visitation to Dubai.
The collaboration between UnionPay and Dubai Tourism will enhance the service quality for UnionPay cardholders visiting Dubai. Beginning on 1 February 2016 and continuing through the upcoming Chinese Spring Festival period until the end of the month, UnionPay card holders will be able to enjoy a 10-25% discount across 120 shopping centres, attractions, hotels and restaurants in Dubai.
Dubai Tourism’s partnership with Tuniu, meanwhile, aims to introduce an even more diverse range of travel products to the Chinese market, showcasing Dubai as a premier destination for both business and leisure travel. Tuniu seeks to offer all customers a set of competitive products, ranging from luxurious ‘seven-star’ hotel experiences at the Burj Al Arab to more economical packages at affordable prices.
Commenting on the agreements with UnionPay and Tuniu, Issam Kazim said: “Over the past year, we have seen a significant increase in the number of arrivals from China, with 450,000 Chinese visitors making the trip to Dubai in 2015, topping our leader board of year-on-year growth trends with a 29% increase in numbers. Attracting so many tourists from this great country is a significant achievement for us, and it didn’t just happen overnight. We strive to continue our work with strategic partners such as UnionPay and Tuniu to promote the full spectrum of Dubai’s tourism offering to a diverse range of Chinese tourists.
Through our global connectivity as an airline hub and with 12 gateways between China and Dubai, we are well primed to be a compelling preferred destination and transit stopover for Chinese
travellers. We are passionate about ensuring we continue to deliver beyond the expected, to help make everyone’s experience of Dubai truly remarkable.”
Dubai’s rich mix of world-class shopping, hotels and attractions has led to increasing consideration among Chinese travellers. This is reflected in the rapid increase in the number of Chinese visitors to Dubai, with the country climbing into Dubai’s top 10 source markets for inbound tourism for the first time last year.
With outbound tourists from China expected to double by 2020, China is set to play a central role in realising Dubai’s Tourism Vision for 2020, which aims to welcome 20 million visitors per year by the start of the next decade. Dubai aims to capture this growing market by offering Chinese travellers a simple online visa application service, non-stop flights from China and numerous leisure facilities with Mandarin- and Cantonese-speaking staff, localised menus and guides for Chinese visitors.