Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) is using its participation in the Dubai Government Achievements Exhibition (Dubai World Trade Centre, 30 March – 1 April) to showcase its e-Permit and e-Ticketing platforms which were recently introduced to align with the objectives of Dubai Smart City initiative. Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and now in its third year the event is themed ‘Local Government and Global Achievements’ and will highlight the leadership qualities of the Government of Dubai in various fields. It also celebrates excellence and innovation within government departments and is an opportunity to showcase the achievements, services and projects of all departments and institutions under one umbrella.
DTCM’s e-Permit and e-Ticketing platforms were first introduced in September 2013, with DTCM taking responsibility for the development and management of both. The former is an online system through which all procedures related to the application, processing and licensing of event permits are operated, while the latter is a centralised platform for the sale and distribution of tickets for all events in Dubai.
Implementation of both systems are aimed at supporting and developing Dubai’s growing events sector, which is a key pillar of the strategy behind the Emirate’s Tourism Vision for 2020 to welcome 20 million visitors per year by the start of the next decade. The platforms also align with Dubai’s Smart City initiative, launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum in early March 2014.
The benefits of both platforms are multiple, automating and thus speeding up and simplifying the entire events application, licensing and ticketing process, and providing an electronic ticket distribution system that is altogether easier and more convenient for those attending events. Other benefits include the ability to collect big data for the purposes of city planning and crowd management, as well as statistics that allow DTCM to optimise the events calendar and, in broader terms, improve Dubai’s events and destination offering.
Ahmad Khalifa AlFalasi, CEO of Support Services, DTCM said: “DTCM is committed to the Smart City strategy announced in March 2014 by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. The e-Permit and e-Ticketing platforms are just two examples of our efforts to deliver targeted initiatives across the city to provide streamlined services to our partners and stakeholders, and ultimately enhance the visitor experience. With Dubai’s events sector growing at an impressive rate and playing such a vital role in growing our tourism numbers, the new e-Permit system was introduced to streamline the management and coordination of event licensing activities and provide greater operational efficiency. The e-Ticketing system allows us to issue tickets more quickly and efficiently, and enables us to build a database of information that benefits not only DTCM but also event organisers and venues, leading to greater customer satisfaction. We have already seen positive results since both systems’ implementation, and we look forward to announcing further developments in the near future.”
The new online platform has made applying for event permits significantly quicker and more efficient by removing the need to visit DTCM in person. In addition, where previously it was the hotel or venue hosting an event that had to apply for the permit, today the event organiser is able to submit his or her own application, which has the added benefit of opening up direct communications between event stakeholders and DTCM. Furthermore, rather than having to apply for separate permits from other government entities, such as Dubai Police, the new system allows for the issuance of a single permit that is universally recognised.
The introduction of the platform has been split into two phases. The first was rolled out on 2 November 2014 and applied only to five-star hotels. The second was launched on 2 December 2014 and will be completed by the end of May 2015, by which time the e-Permit will be available to all hotels, venues and event organisers that host entertainment, sports, trade, religious and charity events. Since the start of November 2014, DTCM has registered 394 venues and 190 organisers, and issued 2,920 event permits via the new platform.
The aim of the new online ticketing system is to expand ticket distribution channels, enable more in-depth analysis of the events industry, and ensure customer protection and satisfaction. Prior to the system’s introduction on 9 September 2014, DTCM relied on a manual ticketing process that proved relatively time consuming. The automated platform has sped things up dramatically, providing the industry with an efficient, transparent and auditable electronic ticket sales process. By subscribing to the system, hotels, airlines, tour operators, travel agents and other ticket issuers can also take advantage of increased marketing and distribution channels, ultimately resulting in the growth and development of Dubai’s events sector as a whole. End users – those purchasing tickets and attending events – also benefit from the convenience of electronic ticket distribution.
The platform can also be operated as a consumer-facing ticketing solution via a White Label System (only available to selected venues during the initial phase), or as an Application Programming Interface (API) by existing ticket sales agencies that already use a ticketing system to run their operations. Event organisers who currently sell their own tickets are currently required to engage with a seller connected to the e-Ticketing system or use the DTCM Hard Ticket Process to print ticket batches to provide to customers.