Akwaaba: Nigerians are the most frequent African visitors to Dubai
Recently, the 2016 edition of one of Africa’s largest travel fair, Akwaaba Africa Travel Market took pace in Lagos, Nigeria.
The event was a gathering of stakeholders and players in the African travel and tourism sector. One of the major highlights of the event was the return of the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) to commence its commitment to the African market. At the event, it was revealed that Nigeria had the most frequent African visitors to Dubai.
“Nigeria made up 60 per cent of clients of Time Hotels and Arabian Falcons, a leading property company in the Middle East. Nigeria also accounted for about 127,000 overnight visitors in 2015, making Nigeria one of the top 20 source markets that year,” said Stella Fubara Obinwa, Regional Director for Africa, DCTM.
What did Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing do differently this year?
DTCM arrived Nigeria with 10 tour operators and Destination Management Companies (DMCs), which included airlines, hotels, tour agencies and the world’s largest indoor theme park, the IMG Worlds of Adventure. The whole point was to create a platform where suppliers and buyers get to meet, to improve their businesses.
They also tried to change the misconception that Dubai is expensive or it is only for shopping.
“Yes, it is a luxury destination but it is very affordable, and there are thousands of more places to visit beyond the Burj Khalifa and Desert Safari, said Obinwa.
The DTCM partners also came along to the Akwaaba to give incentives to help travel businesses grow. Of course, luxury shopping is a given in Dubai and at phenomenal market value. Shoppers may be happy to know that the next Dubai Shopping Festival starts early by December 26 until January 2017.
Discounts will be extremely attractive for visitors, with about 600 incredible giveaways to shoppers,” Obinwa said further.
Why Dubai is a top destination for Nigerians
According to Obinwa, to start with, Dubai takes the least time to get to by flight, just six hours, instead of 14 hours to other destinations. There are the thousands of posh restaurants, luxury hotels, parks, museums, resorts and family entertainment centres that serve as perfect getaway cum exquisite business spots for destination events.
“Twenty luxury event planners from Nigeria, who were hosted by Dubai Tourism, Middle East Tourism and Red Apple in October 2016, can testify to the wow factor Dubai effortlessly offers, “ said Obinwa.