Dubai DMCs campaign for convention bureau

Destination management companies in Dubai are lobbying the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) to establish a convention bureau. The DMCs agree that the destination will enjoy rapid growth as a C&I option, but are concerned Dubai’s equivalent of a national tourism organisation leans too heavily toward leisure marketing. The industry wants the DTCM to set up a convention bureau to help with contracts and marketing, especially after the emirate announced a purpose-built meetings venue would open in 2003.DMC Net Tours manager of incentives, special events and conferences, Paddy Paul, said a dedicated bureau would assist growth in the C&I sector. "It is something that must be established so the destination can grow as an international convention city," she said. Arabian Adventures manager meetings, exhibitions and incentives, Sumaira Isaacs, added the bureau must be responsible for direct marketing. "This has got to happen to pitch for conventions on a more professional level and it will also help us market the destination better," she said. Elsewhere, the Dubai Government plans to start work this summer on the world’s largest man-made islands as part of a development incorporating 80 luxury boutique hotels and 4,000 rooms. The Palm Islands project, which was unveiled during last month’s Arabian Travel Market, will feature two identical islands. Each will take four years to complete with bridges to connect them to the mainland.

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