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Emirates doubles its passengers to Dubai

Emirates has achieved a 10 per cent increase over last year in its sales of special packages for …

Emirates has achieved a 10 per cent increase over last year in its sales of special packages for Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) 2004 which has just ended – another highlight of the key role Emirates plays in boosting visitor numbers to Dubai.

The airline`s promotion of the DSF is just a part of its ongoing promotion of Dubai. The world`s fastest-growing full service airline has boosted tourism into the emirate in every destination that has come on line since operations began in 1985.

The airline now serves 74 cities in 52 countries on four continents and its promotion of Dubai has gathered pace as the network has expanded. Most of its area and country managers are UAE nationals.

Recent figures from the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) show that overall hotel guests per annum staying in Dubai have increased two and a half times from 1996 2002 (1,918, 471 to 4,756,280). Emirates has been at the heart of shaping that success.

His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Emirates, said: We have spared no effort. Under the visionary leadership of HH Gen Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Government of Dubai has given clear directives to boost visitor numbers. As the Dubai-based international airline, we play a key role in achieving Government targets.

We will continue to work with Dubai`s hoteliers, with Government departments, with travel industry partners overseas and with media across the globe to do so. Dubai is already an outstanding success story but we believe that its success as a tourist destination is only beginning.

From the start of operations in 1985, Emirates has aggressively promoted Dubai, currently fielding a team of 206 sales executives operating in more than 70 online and offline countries. Each overseas destination is tasked with increasing sales to Dubai by 25 per cent every year.

Roadshows spread the word from New York to New Zealand; special packages convert transit passengers to visitors; global advertising campaigns draw tourists to the sun, the shopping and the safety Dubai offers; decals on its jetliners promote major events at airports across the globe. Each year, an ongoing programme of familiarisation visits highlights the emirate`s attractions to literally hundreds of journalists and travel agents.

In many cases, visitor numbers have increased the most from those countries linked to Dubai by the largest number of Emirates flights. Those from the UK, for example, have increased four-fold from 1996 to 2002.

Recent years have seen a huge expansion in air links with other key destinations in response to soaring demand. Flights to/from Saudi Arabia have leapt from eight to 15 weekly in just the last four years, while those to another near neighbour, India, have increased from 25 to 42 per week.

Within weeks of the first DSF in 1996, Emirates made its entry to Australia with a three-times-weekly service to Melbourne. Today, the airline flies daily to four Australian destinations with more increases around the corner. Three of the daily flights continue on to Auckland.

The number of passengers coming into Dubai on Emirates has more than doubled since 1996 when the airline carried 691,705 passengers to its home base. By 2003, the number had risen to 1,515,345. Visitors handled by Arabian Adventures, the airline`s destination management company, also more than doubled during the same period.

Maurice Flanagan, Vice Chairman and Group President, said: From start-up in 1985, with two destinations, Emirates has increased air links to 74 destinations with which Dubai does business. The figures speak for themselves. We have played a key role in putting Dubai on the world map.