A Supplement Of Expo 2020 Visit Numbers Pass Eight Million Mark

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A DDP Publication A Supplement of Expo 2020 visit numbers pass eight million mark Expo 2020 Dubai visit numbers have increased significantly to a total of 8,067,012 visits in the period up to December 27, as organisers continue to maintain robust COVID-19 measures, ensuring a safe and exceptional event for all attending. Expo 2020 Dubai, which runs until March 31, 2022, invites the world to join a global celebration to a shape and brighter future for everyone. tire Expo site ahead of December 25, with the unmissable Christmas tree at Al Wasl Plaza lit up in a special ceremony on December 18, and all kinds of ongoing yuletide events, activities TT Bureau he largest major global event to be held since the start of the pandemic, Expo 2020’s latest COVID-19 measures include the expansion of the number of on-site PCR testing facilities to four, and free testing for all Country Pavilion staff. While all frontline workers and entertainers continue to be tested on a regular basis, some close contact events, such as parades and roving entertainers, have been temporarily suspended as a short-term precautionary measure. T With more than 90 per cent of the UAE population fully vaccinated, Expo 2020 Dubai has required mandatory vaccination and boosters of all Expo and International Participant staff, volunteers, contractors and service providers. Visitors aged 18 years and above are re- 24, Dubai Millennium Amphitheatre), London Community Gospel Choir (December 24 and 25. Jubilee Park and Dubai Millennium Amphitheatre respectively), Lea Salonga (December 25, Jubilee Park), and With 90 per cent of UAE population fully vaccinated, the Expo site maintains on site sanitisation stations and mandatory masks, indoor and outdoor quired to present proof of any vaccination or a negative PCR test taken within the previous 72 hours. In addition, Expo 2020 maintains on site sanitisation stations and mandatory face-masks both indoor and outdoor. Expo 2020 Dubai was honoured to receive His Holiness Sultan Al Bohra and members of the Bohra community, while other recent high profile events included an appearance from footballing great and Expo Ambassador Lionel Messi; a concert by multi-talented Egyptian star Mohamed Ramadan; electrifying science show Brainiac Live and plenty more live entertainment, buoyed by enthusiastic uptake of the Expo 2020 Festive Pass. Knowledge & Learning Week, the latest engrossing Theme Week under Expo’s Programme for People and Planet, presented a three-day global education summit, a number of World Majlis events, an interactive workshopstyle event around experiential learning, and a Business Forum on harnessing and challenging today’s knowledge to better prepare for the future. The seasonal spirit has been felt across the en- and shopping, plus a full menu of festive food and drink options, all delighting visitors. The Expo’s programme of live concerts during the past seven days glittered with a international cast, including Dina Stars and Apo & The Apostles (December 23, Jubilee Park), Egyptian entertainer Tamer Hosny (December 23, Jubilee Park), Grigoryan Chant and Naia Izumi (December Kazakh National Ballet (December 23, Dubai Millennium Amphitheatre). With Expo’s Festive Pass unlocked unlimited access to a wonderful winter for just AED 95, vaild until January 7, visit numbers are expected to keep increasing. The virtual visitation of the Expo 2020 increased to 37 million up to 27 December, mainly driven by the uptake of Live@Expo.

EVENTS JANUARY 2022 TravTalk 3 Expertise showcased to lure UAE visitors A delegation from the Italian region of Emilia-Romagna was recently held in Dubai Expo 2020, led by Stefano Bonaccini, the President of Emilia-Romagna, with the aim of displaying the expertise of the region and excellence in the fields of industry, academia, research, tourism and innovation. productive, academic and scientific stakeholders to show our positioning on the markets, and offer unique tourist experiences”. TT Bureau resident, Bonaccini was accompanied by Andrea Corsini, Regional Minister of Tourism as well as representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Agro-Products, and professional and industrial universities specialized in developing solutions capable of responding to global challenges. The Emilia-Romagna mission is working to transfer its expertise to the UAE and its visitors P He also added: “We are participating in the first major international post-Covid event with the ambition of presenting a region committed to laying the foundations for building a new, different future, concluded the President.” Expo 2020 Dubai comes after the hard months of COVID-19 pandemic that has had heavy effects at the human, social and economic level during Expo 2020 Dubai through representatives from the industrial, scientific, technological, social, tourism and cultural fields. A series of special events and initiatives are being organized at the Italy Pavilion and the M-Eating Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai around these themes. In the same context, the mission’s tasks included several strategic meetings that brought together President Bonaccini, accompanied by Giuseppe Finochiaro, Consul General in Dubai, and Ahmed Al Falasi, Chief Executive Officer, Dubai’s new Department of Economy and Tour- ism. The mission also organized a visit to the Dubai Future Foundation (DTF), where President Bonaccini met Khalfan Belhoul, CEO, DTF and discussed ways of cooperation and partnership. On December 9, 2021, Emilia Romagna organized a press conference at the Expo 2020 Dubai, in the presence of the regional minister of tourism, travel and tourism pioneers and representatives of various related sectors, in the presence of local and international media. The conference highlighted the EmiliaRomagna industry of excellence in the sectors of industry, agriculture, specialized tourism and higher vocational education, which together highlight EmiliaRomagna’s enormous potential, infrastructure, and economic and tourist attractions. “Expo 2020 Dubai comes after the hard months of COVID-19 pandemic that has had heavy effects at the human, social and economic level” - underlines President Bonaccini. “A pandemic from which we can escape through the vaccination campaign, which even a year and a half ago seemed im- “In a bid to accomplish the ecological and digital transition, with the investments made in the Emilia-Romagna Data Valley, an outstanding technological platform in Europe, coupled with a sustainable, equita- The vital role of investment opportunities and tie-ups available to stakeholders in tourism, education and agericultural sectors was stressed possible to imagine and which is proceeding at a really fast pace, thanks to the commitment and sense of responsibility of the vast majority of citizens. “Expo 2020 Dubai is an appointment that becomes an opportunity for a productive fabric such as ours with a strong export vocation, and for a region that has proved to be highly attractive in recent years. We present ourselves as a united Italian national system, together with the other Regions, and as the Emilia-Romagna system together with the ble and widespread growth, capable of reducing social, territorial and gender distances in favour of women and young people, which are the ones who have paid the highest price during the pandemic,” he added. During the press meet, Regional Minister of Tourism, Andrea Corsini stressed the vital role of investment opportunities and partnerships available to stakeholders and actors in tourism, education and the agricultural sector, accompanied by a number of representatives from the region.

4 nto TravTalk JANUARY 2022 Creative economy’s global capital by 2026 In a new step aligned with its role as a planner, enabler and regulator of the cultural and creative sector in the emirate, Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) launched ‘The Dubai Framework for Cultural Statistics’ sets a statistical framework and classification of the activities of the economy in the emirate. TT Bureau his constitutes a new means to design a dynamic system that enables Dubai to have an accurate grasp on the creative pulse of the sector by adopting comprehensive measures and data that monitor the health of the sector in line with international standards as well as monitoring statistical data in the fields of cul- T sition through the use of data points that allow international comparison. The framework supports the planning methodology for impactful strategic projects that support the sustainability of cultural and creative industries sectors, develop a stimulating environment for them, identify the aspirations and trends of cultural and creative talents globally, attract them to live and prosper in Dubai, and enable The cultural and creative sectors in Dubai have witnessed a steady growth over the past years. The credit for this goes to the support of our wise leadership tural and creative industries, enabling this sector, its development and highlighting its strength. Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairperson of Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), affirmed that the new statistical framework has been developed to suit the emirate’s cultural po- them to flourish with their creativity, innovations and intellectual property across all creative fields, contributing to advancing Dubai’s creative scene and achieving a positive economic and social impact. This step has direct implications on the fulfilment of Dubai’s Creative Economy Strategy, which aims to make Dubai the global capital of the creative economy by 2026. Her Highness said, “The cultural and creative industries sectors in Dubai have witnessed a steady organic growth over the past years, thanks to a number of factors. The credit for this goes to the support of our wise leadership for this promising sector and the efforts that Dubai Culture and Arts Authority has endeavoured in strengthening the creative sector’s three pillars, which included the human capital of creative talents, the cornerstone of the creative economy –the sector directly depends on. The second strength point is the supportive, institutional and regulatory environment that the government provides in terms of policies and legislation, providing opportunities for partnerships and promising markets for the sector. Last but not the least, is the availability of enablers that support the sector’s health, such as the physical environment (the maturity of urban infrastructure) and the spatial environment Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Chairperson of Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) (the high quality of life); exclusivity where the features of the city allow it to generate value, attract and develop creative talent, and for the public to enjoy its output; provide the supporting infrastructure (social networks, incentives and support); and a mature digital environment, as digitalisation enables innovation and developing methods and tools that can increase access to the entire value chain of some sectors of the cultural and creative industries, enhancing their efficiency. All of this has enabled Dubai to attract global investments and creative talents in this vital and important creative sector.” She added: “To achieve a sustainable environment for the sector’s growth and formulate impactful policies based on concrete facts, it is necessary to collect reliable statistical data in line with global trends in the field to produce comparable results that support the decision making process. This, in turn, necessitates reliance on appropriate tools so that the measurement is as objective as possible, according to internation- code tables, production activities tables, and cultural goods and services and their definitions according to the International Standard Industrial Classification (ISIC4). The cultural fields that were defined in the framework represent the six main sectors: cultural and natural heritage, books and press, performing arts and celebration, audiovisual and interactive media, visual arts and crafts, and design and creative services, in addition to other fields that branch out from it. Her Highness concluded: “The framework is based on the concept of the ‘creative value The second point is the supportive and regulatory environment that the government provides in terms of policies and legislation for prpomising markets al standards. Therefore, we worked on developing ‘The Dubai Framework for Cultural Statistics’ by relying on the Unesco Framework for Cultural Statistics as the main reference within the creative industry, and the Eurostat framework, with the addition of classifications and descriptions that fit the local cultural and creative scene and serves the creative sector in Dubai.” The Dubai Framework for Cultural Statistics includes all international statistical classification systems and current relevant international standards within international classification chain’ model for the sector, which helps us understand the relationships that link the various stages of the cultural product from ideation to production to distribution to the methodology of accessing the creative product. Thus, ensuring the existence of an integrated and stimulating economic value system for cultural industries that supports the creative community of individuals and institutions of all sizes and enables them to contribute positively to creating job opportunities for local talents and contribute more to Dubai’s local product.”

NTO JANUARY 2022 TravTalk 5 Montenegro showcases its offerings Expo 2020 has become a platform to promote tourism ties between 192 countries. Montenegro gained popularity in 2019 as a short haul destination for UAE travellers. The team headed by HRH Crown Prince Nicholas of Montenegro share about the destination to attract visitors to discover their many offerings to suit every traveller. Shehara Rizly is Royal Highness, Crown Prince Nicholas of Montenegro shared, “Montenegro is a love story between history and geography. It is an interesting destination because of its natural beauty with proximity between the mountains and the sea. You can ski in the morning and swim by afternoon. My mission here is to explain and to encourage people to come and visit Montenegro. The past almost two years have been a challenge with the pandemic but Expo 2020 and the United Arab Emirates have given us the opportunity to connect with each other spanning 192 countries that are present showcasing all their different offerings, so we are honoured to be here to once again venture into associating and strengthening our reciprocal relationships. I am very happy when I see tourists visiting Montenegro and especially young people and the young at heart as Montenegro is a destination with vast offerings for H and so it is interesting to have an interspersed myriad of heritage in one small place. Visitors/tourists can enjoy wind surfing, mountains in the north of Montenegro, the biggest canyon in Europe, and lakes etc. Thirty years ago Montenegro was declared as an ecological state, so we proposed many activities about ecological transition and how it can contribute to preserving the planet, this is the key Montenegro negro offers everything you have the mountains, you can ski, adventure out and discover the unique experiences, Ivana Karanikic Prolingua Travel DMC General Manager, Montenegro Bojan Kovacevic Sales&Marketing Manager Hotel Hilton Podgorica, Montenegro Montenegro is a destination with vast offerings for sport, natural beauty, rich history and cultural heritage. I am very happy when I see tourists, especially young people — HRH Crown Prince Nicholas message that we want to give out at Expo 2020.” Heading the team and ensuring that the agents and tour operators from the United Arab Emirates learn more on these special offerings was Ivana Karanikic, Prolingua Travel DMC, General Manager, Montenegro. “We are working currently with a few agencies in We have experience working with the Middle East clientele, but we want to extend our hotel offerings. This Hilton property celebrates five years as it was refurbished and strengthened to cater to wider markets — Bojan Kovacevic sport, natural beauty, rich history and cultural heritage.” The HRH said, “Montenegro has rich cultural heritage beginning from the Greek times, byzantine, Ottoman, Venetian, Austrian HRH Crown Prince Nichoilas is rich in culture and heritage, but also offer some of the most amazing adventure sport activities. We can accommodate up to 500 guests in the bigger meeting rooms or if it is more personalized smaller meeting we can accommodate them in the board room. We look forward to working with agents from this region the UAE, but we hope to increase our presence by showcasing the destination and its many offerings to the potential Middle Eastern travellers, either locals or expats. In 135 square km, Monte- luxury tourism and the luxury marina for those discerning guests and the excellent gastronomy. Both northern and southern areas in Montenegro has different activities and experiences for all ages. About seven or 10 days in Montenegro will give you a glimpse of its many offerings but we always recommend to stay longer for a more fruitful experience as it is most beautiful and breathtaking destination to be enjoyed. We are here at Expo with our first event and the next one to be held will have partners from Montenegro connecting with agents in the United Arab Emirates at B2B meetings followed by a special familiarization trip organized with Hilton Montenegro and the national tourism organization of Montenegro. We are looking at welcoming many travellers from the Middle East region starting with United Arab Emirates followed by Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and other countries.” offerings as we are the biggest hotel and with halal certification in Podgorica. This Hilton property celebrates five years About seven or 10 days in Montenegro will give you a glimpse of its many offerings but we recommend one to stay longer at the breathtaking destination — Ivana Karanikic Bojan Kovacevic, Sales and Marketing Manager, Hotel Hilton Podgorica, Montenegro shared the untapped potential which await the Middle East travellers and the reciprocal partnership between the hotel and the agents. “We came here to present our hotel with our agency partner. We have experience working with the Middle East clientele, but we want to extend our hotel as it was refurbished and strengthened to cater to wider markets. We have 180 guest rooms with various categories, especially catering to the many requirements from Middle East clientele such as bigger rooms, connecting rooms, and apartments. We also have five meeting rooms and we promote MICE activities and events as our destination as we are open to negotiate terms and conditions that best suit both parties as we understand that the situation changed with the pandemic so for us agents are our key partners that will be able to take us further. Tourism is a partnership or friendship between the travel agents/ tour operators and the hotel, tourism board etc. I look forward to a much better 2022 and feel that it will be better than 2019 numbers where we had a good number of tourists from the Middle East.” FACTFILE FAM trips were held for travellers, including expats and locals, starting from the Middle East and the KSA.

6 NTO TravTalk JANUARY 2022 HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid launches His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, launched the second season of the World’s Coolest Winter campaign. Launched at a special event at Expo 2020 Dubai site, this year’s edition will expand on last year’s campaign and will cover both domestic and foreign tourism. TT Bureau he launch ceremony was attended by Lieutenant General His Highness Sheikh Saif Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, His Highness Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, His Excellency Mohammad Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs T Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said: “Today, we launched the second season of the World’s Coolest Winter campaign, in collaboration with federal entities and local tourism departments, reinforcing the UAE as one destination, as we outlined in the Principles of the 50.” His Highness then tweeted: “The primary target audience of the campaign is doMinistry of Economy and relevant tourism and culture entities. It is the largest campaign of its kind and will highlight the diversity of the UAE’s touristic and recreational attractions, the beauty of its natural landscapes, and the hospitality of its people, it will run from 15 December 2021 until the end of January 2022 to familiarize residents and international tourists with the activities that the UAE winter offers. Open Invitation In the first half of 2021, hotel and tourist establishments attracted about 8.3 million guests, a growth of 15 per cent compared to the first half of last year and His Excellency Dr. Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Entrepreneurship and Small and Medium Enterprises, alongside other ministers and officials from local tourism authorities and federal entities. In a series of tweets through his official account, His Highness mestic and family oriented, with the aim of gathering our families in our beautiful nation. We want families from Dubai and Abu Dhabi to enjoy Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah, and families from other emirates to experience Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Everyone should enjoy the Emirates.” His Highness noted that the UAE’s winter is pure as the soul of the nation’s people, noting that “the world’s coolest winter is in the world’s most beautiful country among the world’s most pleasant people”. He added, “The UAE’s tourism recovered the quickest, globally. The seven emirates have rich history, geography, nature, urban architecture, and community. The UAE’s archaeological sites, culture centers, historical landmarks, and nature reserves, offer visitors a holistic experience.” The second season of the World’s Coolest Winter campaign is carried out by the UAE Government Media Office, in collaboration with the This year’s World’s Coolest Winter campaign is an open invitation to all citizens and residents as well as visitors to the UAE, to capture their most beautiful experi- ences, adventures and memorable moments in various parts of the country and share them across digital platforms. It is hoped that this will result in inspiring photo and video content on the UAE’s tourist and entertainment experiences, cultural events and enjoyable adventures, highlighting not only the country’s diversity, but also its safety and the effective measures taken against COVID-19. The campaign also opens the door for influencers and celebrities from the country, the Arab region and the world to introduce the most prominent tourist attractions to their millions of followers.

NTO JANUARY 2022 TravTalk 7 second season of World’s Coolest Winter @ Expo Key Human Element This year’s edition of the World’s Coolest Winter campaign celebrates the human element in every visit to the UAE, which is central to its status as a sought-after global tourist destination with a relaxed and friendly atmosphere and is reflected in its values of tolerance, inclusion and respect for every visitor from every background. Locally and Globally The World’s Coolest Winter campaign is expanding this year to target international visitors, presenting the most important tourist and entertainment destinations in the country, its nature, culture, heritage, history, architecture and landmarks, and highlighting the distinctiveness of the tourism experience in each of the seven emirates. The campaign is also accompanied by the provision of many exclusive promotions for the campaign by tourist establishments, hotels, shops and restaurants. The UAE’s Tourism Sector in Numbers The UAE achieved tourist occupancy rates in hotel and tourism establishments of 64 per cent between January and October of 2021. The UAE outperformed the top 10 tourist destinations in the world s

With Expo's Festive Pass unlocked unlimited ac-cess to a wonderful winter for just AED 95, vaild until January 7, visit numbers are expected to keep in-creasing. The virtual visi-tation of the Expo 2020 increased to 37 million up to 27 December, mainly driven by the uptake of Live@Expo. Expo 2020 visit numbers pass eight million mark

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