Dubai Tourism forges key partnerships in China

Memorandum of Understanding signed with bankcard association UnionPay International and online leisure travel service platform Tuniu

Dubai Tourism's Issam Kazim at the UnionPay signing ceremony in China.
Dubai Tourism's Issam Kazim at the UnionPay signing ceremony in China.

Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) formed strategic partnerships with two of China’s biggest industry players in Shanghai last week.

The tourism authority is targeting millions of potential travellers in China to visit the emirate in a bid to maintain occupancy numbers.

CEO of Dubai Tourism, Issam Kazim, visited the headquarters of UnionPay International, and signed an MoU with its chief brand officer, Dong Li, agreeing collaborative marketing initiatives.

Kazim also met Yu Dunde, CEO of Tuniu, one of China’s biggest online leisure travel service platforms, at another MoU signing ceremony to create a strategic relationship that will further facilitate Chinese visitation to Dubai.

The collaboration between UnionPay and Dubai Tourism will enhance the service quality for UnionPay cardholders visiting Dubai. Beginning from February this year and continuing through the upcoming Chinese Spring Festival period until the end of the month, UnionPay card holders will be able to enjoy a 10-25% discount across 120 shopping centres, attractions, hotels and restaurants in Dubai.

Dubai Tourism’s partnership with Tuniu, meanwhile, aims to introduce an even more diverse range of travel products to the Chinese market, showcasing Dubai as a business and leisure travel destination. Tuniu seeks to offer all customers a set of competitive products, ranging from the Burj Al Arab experience to more economical packages at affordable prices.

Commenting on the agreements Kazim said: “Over the past year, we have seen a significant increase in the number of arrivals from China, with 450,000 Chinese visitors making the trip to Dubai in 2015, topping our leader board of year-on-year growth trends with a 29% increase in numbers. We strive to continue our work with strategic partners such as UnionPay and Tuniu to promote the full spectrum of Dubai’s tourism offering to a diverse range of Chinese tourists.”

The increase in the number of Chinese visitors to Dubai has seen the country rise up Dubai’s source market charts, getting into the top 10 list.

Dubai Tourism expects doubling of Chinese tourists visiting the emirate by 2020, and is banking on the Far East country in helping it realise its vision of achieving 20 million tourists in the next five years.

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