The Expo 2020 Travel and Connectivity Business Forum provided a snapshot of the future of Dubai’s tourism industry, including how the power of travel and connectivity can contribute to a more sustainable future.
During the event, moderated by former newscaster and event host Laura Buckwell and held at the Expo 2020 Dubai Exhibition Center, Issam Kazim, Executive Director of the Dubai Department of Tourism and Trade Marketing and World Trade Center (UAE) , identified the key factors to successfully shape the Dubai tourism sector. Focused on technology, fostering relationships with all stakeholders, staying in tune with today’s youth and staying nimble to accelerate ever-evolving models.
Citing the relationship between the public and private sectors as critical to the city’s sustainable visitor economy, Issam Kazim said: “We listen carefully to the private sector. If you look at the period during closing, we had regular meetings to make sure everyone was up-to-date during times of uncertainty, which is important to those who have invested in this city. This resonates strongly with them. “
With Dubai recognized as an incubator for innovation and technology, Kazim said it was important to embrace all aspects of technology: “Many want to dismiss some of the technology as a trend that is going to disappear, but, in recent years, we have seen that these trends have become part of our foreign policy: what we do every day “.
He said that engaging with young people and younger audiences, who are more in tune with the changes happening around them, is also critical: “everything, and be open to new ideas and fresh thoughts”.
With the impact of the pandemic on our personal and professional livesKazim said that a positive creative turn has emerged in the UAE as a result, with a shift from tourists to visitors and from visitors to residents.
Kazim said: “We found ourselves in a position where a lot of people were trapped in Dubai because their country’s borders were closed. Our leadership extended their visas and told them to relax and enjoy their time in Dubai. There was also a huge increase in people working from home, giving us the impetus to accelerate some of the concepts that we had been discussing for years, but had not had time to execute. We launched a remote work visa, which is rapidly being accepted globally, and the UAE Golden Visa to encourage investors. Due to the way the UAE was handling the pandemic, many companies turned their attention here, realizing that security first, along with business continuity, is important to Dubai.. We also analyze visas for professions such as doctors ”.
The crux, Kazim said, lies not only in transforming tourism, but also in convincing people to stay: “The programs we have in place have begun to take advantage of what we, as residents, already take for granted, that this is the best city to be in”. to innovate. It’s not just about attracting more tourists to Dubai, but about creating a place where people want to reside and set up a shop. “
Text, photos and video: Expo Dubai 2020.