His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, affirmed that he would closely monitor the progress of the tourism industry in Dubai so as to fulfil the vision of Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, to welcome 20 million tourists by 2020 through 53 government initiatives.
Since coming to office Sheikh Mohammed had transformed Dubai's desert into the world's fourth largest destination for tourism, doubled the sector's size six-fold and assigned the government departments to work as one team to place Dubai on the world tourism landscape, said Sheikh Hamdan.
"Sheikh Mohammed has set targets for each sector in Dubai and our job is to deliver the vision, targets and directives of HH," he affirmed during a visit to the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing in Dubai.
Facilities provided by Sheikh Mohammed to the sector in the recent years had raised the hotel capacity from 15,000 rooms to more than 100,000 rooms, and tourist arrivals to more than 14.2 million in 2015, revealed Sheikh Hamdan.
"Sheikh Mohammed's directives to property developers to develop family leisure destinations will enable us to welcome an additional five million holidaymakers," he added.
Also, Sheikh Mohammed's directives to grant Chinese tourists visas on arrival would bring about a paradigm shift in the sector, Sheikh Hamdan noted.
"We are planning to establish Dubai as the first destination for tourists from Asia," he continued.
Sheikh Hamdan directed the team in the presence of Helal Saeed Almarri, Director-General of Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), to adopt an indirect marketing strategy.
"The best way to sell Dubai is to give its visitor an unforgettable experience right from the airport, and the social media platforms will help to present the experience of Dubai's visitors and its tourist landmarks to the whole world," he explained.
During the visit, Sheikh Hamdan was briefed about the latest developments, key priorities and efforts to implement the Dubai Tourism Strategy 2020, which aims to make Dubai the most attractive city in the world.
Dubai welcomed 14.2 million visitors in 2015, a rise of 7.5 per cent from 2014, according to the DTCM.
The growth in visitor numbers is double the United Nations World Travel Organisation’s (UNWTO) projected 3-4 per cent global travel growth for the same period.
India has become Dubai’s top tourist source for the first time, with more than 1.6 million visitors in 2015. Saudi Arabia followed with 1.54 million visitors.