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Dubai unveils 'Forever Dubai' welcome initiative for Dubai 2003 delegates

Travel News Asia 26 July 2003

The Forever Dubai welcome initiative for Dubai 2003 visitors was jointly unveiled today by the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing in Dubai (DTCM) and Dubai 2003.

The strategic initiative aims to create a unique UAE experience for all participants of the Annual Meetings of the Board of Governors of the World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund (IMF), which will take place in Dubai late September.

Details of Forever Dubai were unveiled at a press conference hosted by Ibrahim Belselah, General Coordinator of Dubai 2003 and Hussain Ali Lootah, DTCM Deputy Director General.


Dubai unveils 'Forever Dubai' welcome initiative for Dubai 2003 delegates

Goodwill ambassadors

"We want to create more than 14,000 'goodwill ambassadors' for the UAE by providing such a unique and memorable experience for the participants of the Annual Meetings and associated events, that when they return to their respective home countries - not only will they want to revisit Dubai - but they will also encourage their friends and relatives to come and experience the delights of our city," Belselah told the media.

Belselah pointed out that more than 14,000 delegates, officials, media personnel and visitors are expected from the 184-member countries of the World Bank Group and the IMF. These include opinion influencing and policy-making finance ministers, central bank chiefs, their senior officials and advisors from each member country, 2,500 of the globe's top journalists, experts, academics, chief executives, investors, bankers and civil society representatives.

Unforgettable experience

"One of our strategic goals at DTCM is to promote Dubai worldwide as a tourism and commerce destination. Where will we ever get this kind of a receptive audience - the majority of whom will be visiting the United Arab Emirates for the first time? This is a golden opportunity for us as we will be able to promote Dubai to the world in Dubai.

"We have to take the initiative, and I am sure that we have the right formula to showcase our legendary hospitality to the participants. We will not leave any stone unturned to make the Dubai visit of each delegate, official, journalist and visitor more personally memorable," Lootah added.

Forever Dubai is a special initiative that will run between September 10th and September 25th, 2003. Special retail promotions and cultural activities have been arranged - apart from the normal world-famous hospitality with which each guest to Dubai will be treated during that period.

25 kilos of gold

"Forever Dubai will enhance Dubai's position as a retail destination that offers the best international brands which have chosen Dubai as their regional centre from which to export to surrounding markets.

"We have leveraged Dubai's reputation as the 'City of Gold to create a citywide sales promotion under which any person who buys goods and services worth a minimum of AED 200 (US$ 54), will be entitled to one chance to win a grand  prize of 25 kilos of gold on the night of September 26th," said Lootah.

The raffle would be available at over 1,000 retail outlets in Dubai. He praised the strong cooperation between the government and the private sector that ensures that the private sector participates in all government initiatives thus playing a large role in the growth of the national economy.

Lootah explained the rationale behind the Forever Dubai concept saying that: "All Dubai 2003 related visitors are individuals first, and almost any individual visiting a new location, likes to look at interesting places and shop.

"We thought that the Dubai 2003 experience would become more enriching and memorable with the Dubai shopping experience twist to it - as well as from the inspiring tours of the Heritage Village and the Diving Village."

"Forever Dubai offers the perfect opportunity to showcase Dubai to the international business community. We support this initiative and are proud to share our vision of Dubai with our guests. We welcome the opportunity to introduce this vibrant city during the most important globally recognised event that has ever happened in the Middle East," said Belselah.

"Dubai's ongoing mission is to create a world-class hub for both business and leisure, and what we hope to achieve is to raise global awareness and appreciation through such initiatives and to encourage investment and tourism flows," he added.

Perfect showcase

As well as cultural and entertainment events throughout the city, delegates will be encouraged to explore the emirate and the country. "We are also enhancing the Heritage Village experience especially for Dubai 2003 under the Forever Dubai programme," said Lootah.

City tours

He explained that ten city-tour programme options have been developed as well as several countrywide excursions for the delegates. "All in all, we want to give to our guests an experience they will never forget."

"Dubai 2003 is an amazing opportunity to show the world what we are capable of. To host such major international event, to demonstrate the modern infrastructure we have in place to deal with the huge numbers of visitors we can expect in September, is a spectacular achievement," said Belselah.

"I firmly believe that the Forever Dubai initiative will reinforce our promotion of Dubai as a leading business destination and I applaud DTCM for taking the  initiative to welcome our delegates and by doing so hopefully create an additional 14,000 ambassadors for this fine city," he concluded.

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