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The Way forward for Center East Journey and Tourism



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Skift Take

I am Skift’s reporter primarily based in Dubai, and these are the questions I am excited to get solutions to at December’s Skift World Discussion board East.

The Center East’s journey and tourism ambitions can appear unbelievable: 150 million guests into the once-closed off Saudi Arabia, 40 million guests to the UAE – huge targets maintain getting extra formidable.


The Skift World Discussion board East returns to Dubai from December 12 to 14 and we’ll be talking to an important journey executives from the area to higher perceive the way it would possibly all play out.

I’m Skift’s reporter primarily based in Dubai, and listed here are the questions I’m excited to get solutions to.

1: Can Dubai Hold Rising?

Dubai is a small metropolis, just like the dimensions of Houston, Texas, and far of its land is a desert.


And but, by the top of this 12 months, Dubai is projected to have 140,000 resort rooms – that’s greater than Las Vegas. It was drawing in nearly 17 million guests earlier than the pandemic and aiming to surpass that this 12 months.

Issam Kazim, Dubai Tourism CEO, will talk about the way forward for Center East’s journey and tourism, taking a macro view of the business and the way that may form Dubai’s progress trajectory.

2: Will Dubai’s Resort Manufacturers Go World?

Lodges similar to Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, Atlantis The Palm and the Deal with inns have cemented Dubai as a luxurious journey vacation spot. And now these firms are beginning to look past the comforts of the United Arab Emirates.


Katerina Giannouka, CEO of Jumeirah Group and Mark Kirby, head of Emaar Hospitality Group will participate in a panel discussing the way forward for these native resort manufacturers and why now’s the time for a lot of of them to take a extra international method.

3. How Excessive Can Saudi’s Riyadh Air Fly?

Saudi Arabia is having its second. The dominion has staffed up with essentially the most highly effective journey executives and is tapping into its coffers to construct its tourism business.

An necessary a part of the plan is aviation, and the nation has its personal brand-new airline, Riyadh Air. Headed by former Etihad boss Tony Douglas, Riyadh Air goals to hook up with 100 locations by the top of the last decade, add billions to the financial system and supply employment to hundreds of individuals.


On the Skift World Discussion board East, Douglas will focus on simply how impactful Riyadh Air may very well be and its place within the ultra-competitive Center East provider market.

4. Is It Actually All About Luxurious?

Virtually on daily basis, a brand new super-luxury resort in Saudi Arabia seems within the information. Leyja and Epicon in Neom, eco-retreats within the mountains and Maldives-inspired inns alongside the Purple Beach. What number of vacationers can realistically e book into these unique inns?

Our panel “Increasing Hospitality’s Vary and Alternative” will have a look at the significance of diversifying the area’s lodging provide, whether or not that’s extra mid-market inns, short-term leases or extra experience-focused keep choices.


We’ll be listening to from: Claudio Bellinzona, chief provide officer at TUI Musement, Mona Faraj, MD of HSMAI Center East and Paul Bridger, COO of Rove Lodges.

5. The place Are The Cultural Experiences?

Dubai has made a reputation for itself as a purchasing superpower and Saudi Arabia is deploying comparable ways to construct its worldwide shopper base. However the Center East is a wealthy tapestry of nuanced and different cultures.

Center East journey and tourism will focus increasingly more on highlighting these cultures because the area appears to construct a extra linked tourism expertise. The GCC states are, for instance, launching a unified visa within the coming years to immediate vacationers to discover the broader area.


Accor CEO Sébastien Bazin and Skift CEO and founder Rafat Ali will look past the Western lens in Center East hospitality.

Skift World Discussion board East

There are a restricted variety of discounted tickets accessible for $545, after which the total worth of $645 will apply to Solo Tickets and $545 for Group Tickets. Costs are inclusive of native taxes.

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On-line Attendees

Within the Fall of 2023, we’ll provide a restricted variety of online-only tickets for Skift World Discussion board East, unique to Skift subscribers.

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