DTCM passes legislation on Dubai desert activities
Dubai Tourism will implement new Desert Tour & Camp Regulations aimed at improving the Dubai desert experience for tourists visiting the emirate
Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) will implement new Desert Tour & Camp Regulations aimed at improving the Dubai desert experience for tourists visiting the emirate.
As part of the initiative, Dubai Tourism has established quality benchmarks for all desert tour operators, including those managing outdoor, cultural and hospitality activities.
Operators will be evaluated on a number of categories including, visitor experience, health and safety, insurance coverage, marketing and advertising as well as transport and logistics.
The new regulations will also focus on the implementation of environmentally sustainable practices by empowering operators to improve their services and provide detailed information on the activities included in their packages.
The new regulations will come into effect in three months’ time, which Dubai Tourism has said will give the industry a sufficient window to adopt the new standards.
Dubai Tourism will also facilitate collaboration between government departments and tourism stakeholders. This will include collaboration with agencies such as the Roads & Transport Authority (RTA), Dubai Municipality as well as Dubai Police and the Directorate of Civil Defence to ensure that booking agents, camp operators and drivers adhere to codes of conduct, safety regulations and quality standards.
The tourism body has also made it extremely important for guest safety in the new regulations. Directives such as a mandatory child car seat, vehicle inspection criteria and provisions to ensure all in-car safety equipment is installed by approved vendors will be a bare minimum.
DTCM has also informed all tour operators that its drivers must have completed their tour guide certification from Dubai Tourism, deliver mandatory safety briefings to guests and have all correct RTA licenses.
Executive director of the tourism activities & classification sector Khaled Bin Touq said: “Close to 20% of all tourists who visit Dubai include a desert experience as part of their agenda and desert-based activities have consistently ranked amongst the top ten must-do activities in Dubai.
“In order to elevate this signature experience and make it integral to the tourist agenda, we have established a rule book for operators that sets out targets, standards and best practices,” he said.
Bin Touq added: “Encouraging operators to scale up their investment and focus in these areas will feed into the overall aim to move desert adventures to the top five adventure activities in Dubai, which in turn will have a knock-on effect of bolstering Dubai’s overall reputation as an adventure hub with a distinct and diverse offering.
He added: "With more than 30% of visitors using online research to select destinations and activities, improving our quality credentials will help generate positive feedback and increased bookings,” Bin Touq said.