In October, Dubai Tourism held their first South African Road Show which involved major cities; Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town.
I had a chat with Stella Obinwa, who happens to be the Regional Manager for Dubai Tourism Africa. So I’d say get comfortable and receive all the tips you need about that trip to Dubai.
Kiki: What was your main aim with the SA Road Show? What is Dubai Tourism aiming to achieve through the Road show campaign?
Stella: We’d like to provide the travel agencies with support to improve their sales, register travel agencies for Dubai Expert Certification, and introduce them to hotel and DMC’s. We also want to further strengthen relationships with key industry stakeholders in the region and encourage more people from South Africa to choose Dubai as their preferred destination.
Kiki: You just did Durban, Johannesburg and Cape Town in South Africa. Please tell us why you chose those cities specifically?
Stella: We chose to visit Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban because we believe they are South Africa’s key cities. As mentioned earlier, we’d like to further strengthen relationships with key industry stakeholders in the region and encourage more people from South Africa to choose Dubai as their preferred destination and also to create opportunity for local operators to meet directly with Dubai’s top partners. The 3 cities we visited were perfect for this campaign.
Kiki: Are there any plans of expanding and doing similar road shows in other African countries? Or have you done that already?
Stella: Africa is a priority market for DTCM with massive potential for more visitors to choose Dubai as their preferred destination. The road show gives DTCM the opportunity to engage with key local travel partners and provide them with a greater understanding of Dubai’s holistic destination offering. There are plans to expand in other African regions, mainly Nigeria, Kenya and Mauritius.
Kiki: When one decides to take a trip to Dubai, when is the best time to visit? What activities can they try out? Where can they stay?
Stella: From families to young couples, millennials to business travellers, everyone has plenty of reasons to visit Dubai – whether it is experiencing family-friendly activities, an extensive retail selection, or a year-round calendar of events.
There are family-friendly destinations like Dubai Parks and Resorts and IMG Worlds of Adventure, the first global theme park to bring international brands Marvel and Cartoon Network together, featuring a unique array of attractions, along with 28 food and beverage outlets.
There is something for everyone at the Hollywood-themed Motiongate, Bollywood Parks (the first Bollywood-themed park in the world), LEGOLAND and LEGOLAND Water Park. Riverland Dubai connects all the individual parks, along with the Lapita Hotel, a Polynesian themed family resort.
The Dubai Opera is the definitive destination for performing arts in Dubai, bringing to life music and art. The iconic dhow-shaped building places culture at the heart of the city, as it is located at the most prestigious square kilometre in the world, Downtown Dubai. The 2000-seater theatre is home to large-scale drama productions, musicals and ballets at affordable prices, with tickets selling for as little as AED250.
Kiki: You have mentioned what visitors can look forward to, when to go etc. What are the don’ts? Especially for people going there for the first time. Tell us what to avoid.
Stella: Dubai has a rich history, and the UAE culture is fascinating. We always advise visitors to take the opportunity to truly experience Dubai by taking in the culture, the food, the language, the people… Don’t leave Dubai without trying Dubai’s delicacies such as the stuffed came, our shawarmas are the best in the world or Al Machboos.
Kiki: Some people believe Dubai is expensive, is that true?
Stella: Dubai is one of the best cities in the world where you don’t need unlimited credit limit. With the rising popularity of the city amongst millennials and families, Dubai ensures that more is accessible for less, with a host of value options – whether it is shopping, family experiences or hospitality.
Kiki: You are the Regional Manager for Africa for one of the most talked about destinations in the world, what do you enjoy the most about your job?
Stella: I love the fact that Dubai is attractive because it’s closer to Africa. It has over 110 attractions, over 8,000 restaurants, great hotels, theme parks, convenient transportation, and shopping. We really are trying to showcase Dubai as a destination with a diverse affordable luxury offering. I enjoy that. I enjoy sharing that with people. We are delighted to be in South Africa, one of our key focus markets in the African region.
Africa continues to play a big role in our diversified market strategy, as we look to further tap into its immense potential. These road shows are instrumental for us to meet local travel partners and enlighten them on all that Dubai has to offer, and what the city has in store for its visitors.
Kiki: Thank you for your time Stella. I guess we’ll see you in Dubai sometime. Now I have an idea of what to look forward to.
Stella: My pleasure. Let’s chat then.
There you have it peeps. Looks like Dubai is one place to add to your bucket list. If you haven’t been there, it’s time to get those coins ready and go explore.
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