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Southern States - Tamil Nadu

Plan to project Dubai as family destination

By T.S. Shankar

CHENNAI APRIL 9. The Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) of Dubai has embarked on an ambitious programme to promote Dubai as a major family destination apart from its present status of shopping paradise.

Disclosing the changed strategy, the DTCM Manager, Overseas Promotions, Ibrahim Ahli, and the Country Manager of the Dubai Representative Office in India, Carl Vaz, told The Hindu here today that they were leading a 15-member five- star hoteliers delegation as part of their planned ``road shows'' to be held in Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Delhi.

``We know the South Indian travel market is big enough and at the same time caters to the Indian travellers who have recently upgraded themselves from the three-star hotel preferences to five-star category'', Mr.Vaz said adding that tourism alone contributed a whopping 14 per cent of the GDP of Dubai.

Explaining that the DTCM has its office in India for over four years playing an important role in boosting bilateral ties by creating an awareness of the opportunities Dubai had to offer in both business and the tourism sectors, Mr.Ahli said the tourism body had been credited with ISO-9002 certification and was regulating and developing the tourism sector globally besides taking care of conceptualisation of new projects and classification of hotels and hotel apartments in Dubai.

Stating that there were a total of 397 hotels and hotel apartments offering nearly 50,000 rooms catering to different kinds of travellers, Mr.Ahli said the Dubai International gateway attracted over 55 direct flights linking the four major Indian metros. ``We want the Government of India to be liberal in offering more air links between India and the Gulf. In this context, the Emirates Airlines is keen to add newer Indian points such as Kochi and Bangalore'', Mr.Ahli said.

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