Most British delegates come to the UAE to visit Dubai or Abu Dhabi. How is Ajman putting itself on the map?
Since 2012, when the department was established, the UK has been one of our key markets. Around 80% of British people come here for business and we want to position ourselves as a relaxing incentive destination to come to after a meeting or event in Dubai or Abu Dhabi. US and UK companies are often associated with companies in Dubai or Abu Dhabi and a lot of meetings are taking place there. We are also equipped for meetings here and have seen a rise in demand from tech and IT companies. After hosting the Global Meetings Exchange this year, we’ve proved we’re ready for large groups.
What is unique about Ajman?
As we are a small emirate, we are able to deliver a very authentic Emirati experience. We are located in the centre of the UAE, so you can get anywhere in less than an hour and half. We have a range of options for visitors including beaches, mountains, as well as desert experiences. We are priced fairly and people will find they are able to stay slightly longer and get luxury and high quality for good value.
What development is Ajman likely to see over the next few years?
At the moment there’s four high-end hotels in Ajman, but there are two more hotels coming soon, including the Oberoi, which should open at the end of this year. We are building an airport, which should be ready in three years. We also have a newly opened golf course, which is integrated into the Mangroves. We have plans to build two more conference centres, one which is set to be built in 2018, the other which is still in planning stages. At the moment we have the Emirates Hospitality Centre, which can house 1,000. We aim to reach a total of five million visitors a year by 2021, at least 20% of which will be for business and events purposes.
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