Fujairah Collage

Fujairah Collage
Some distinctive landmarks in Fujairah

Sunday, June 5, 2011

One of Fujairah’s Greatest Tourism Assets

Much has been made of Fujairah’s status as the UAE’s ‘Getaway Destination’ but one of its greatest assets is the emirate’s proximity to Dubai’s burgeoning tourist gateway (pictured).

Top 10

Congratulations to Dubai for being ranked in the world’s top ten tourist destinations in 2011 (according to research commissioned and published by Mastercard).

Dubai is now #9 in the world in terms of international visitor arrivals after these cities:

1. London

2. Paris

3. Bangkok

4. Singapore

5. Hong Kong

6. Madrid

7. Istanbul

8. Frankfurt.

9. Dubai

10. Rome

Middle East’s Top Destination

Dubai is ranked the top destination in the Middle East and Africa region and is the only destination city in the Middle East that is in the world’s Top 20 by visitor arrivals.

8 Million!

Close to 8 million tourists are expected to visit Dubai in 2011.

This represents an annual increase of 17.3% which is the sixth best growth rate among the global Top Twenty.

These visitors are expected to spend $7.8 billion during their stay in Dubai!

Only 45 Minutes

Fujairah has been tagged as the ‘far-flung emirate’ and the perception that it is ‘out in the sticks’ has made many tourists think that it is too far to travel. The ‘boondocks’ label has made Fujairah appear primitive and rustic so why would tourists besotted with modern skyscrapers and tall towers bother to make the effort?

With the new super highway due to open in July 2011, the 90 minute journey to the east coast will soon become an easy 45 minute trip. For tourists who arrive in Dubai jetlagged after their 4 hour trip from Delhi, 7 hour flight from London or 15 hour over night haul from Sydney, the jaunt to Fujairah will become much more attractive.

The Fujairah International Airport is luring investors to Fujairah by hailing the new highway as being “only a 45 minute drive from a population of 4 million people.”

45 Minutes from 12 Million People

If businesses are making the claim of being “45 minutes away from 4 million customers,” the tourism industry in Fujairah needs to be shouting from the fort that the eastern emirate is only 45 minutes from 4 million residents plus 8 million international tourists!

‘UAE is So Much More’

Dubai has marketed itself so well that many foreigners know ‘Dubai’ better than the ‘UAE’. Fujairah needs a marketing campaign to let these 8 million tourists know that the UAE is much more than Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Much Work to Do

Fujairah needs more than a marketing campaign to grab a slice of the 8 million tourists and capture a chunk of the 4 million residents.

Many top quality hotels and restaurants have been established. The fast highway will soon be opened.

The emirate of Al Fujairah now needs:

  • A Marhaba (welcome) Centre for tourists to relax and plan their stay. The Fujairah Fort seems like an ideal, central location.
  • A performance arena below the Fujairah Fort, surrounded by a heritage village and which caters for the one day tourist.
  • 12-15 tourist sites need to be open 7 days a week and upgraded to an international standard with quality signs, multi-lingual brochures and trained tourist guides. These tourist attractions should represent a diversity of activities including the visitation of ancient sites, exploration of the natural wonderland, ventures into the mountains and the enjoyment of water pursuits, including fun on the beaches.

A Slice of the 8 Million Tourists

Not all the 8 million tourists who arrive in Dubai will have the time available to include Fujairah on their itinerary but it is opportune with the opening of the new highway to target a proportion of these people and tantalize them with the unique attractions that Fujairah has to offer.

Geoff Pound

This article is also posted on the Fujairah in Focus—Facebook Page.

Images: Thanks to the Fujairah Observer for the photo of the new Dubai-Fujairah highway, the Fujairah International Airport for the map of Fujairah and the UAE, the Mastercard Report for the tables and Google Images for the photo of the Dubai International Airport.

No comments: