Dubai Stakes Claim To Be The World’s Most Popular City Destination By 2020

Dubai is aiming to be the world’s most popular city destination by 2020, as part of the city’s long-term growth strategy.

The ambitious target is anchored on attracting 25 million tourists in the next five years, according to Issam Kazim, Chief Executive Officer, Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DCTCM), and is achievable despite lingering fears of plummeting oil prices and a strong dollar.

“The emirate is on track to achieve all the targets for the 2020 vision beyond the Expo,” says Kazim.

“Dubai will be looking at different types of tourists in the period leading up to and beyond 2020. There will be more cultural and business tourists, and as such the city will need to offer more mid-range hotels,” he adds.

Speaking at the Destination Dubai 2020 conference taking place at The Address Dubai Marina hotel in Dubai on 27 January, Kazim explains that the government has started to incentivise investors that are looking to develop three and four star hotels.

“We currently have 51 applications for mid-level hotels; this is an important component that will help the emirate achieve this target,” continues Kazim.

Kazim also goes on to confirm that there are 20,000 room keys in the pipeline that will be completed in 2016. “We are also on target to achieve our 150,000 keys by 2020.”

The expected influx of tourists will also require increased capacity of Dubai’s airports. In his keynote presentation, His Highness Sheikh Majid Al Mualla, DSVP Commercial Operations GCC, Iran, Central Asia; Emirates, says that the airline is on track to meet its 70 million passenger target by 2020, and can be seamlessly handled by Dubai’s network of airports, which by 2020 will have a capacity of handling well over 110 million passengers.

Al-Mualla said the number of tourists travelling to Dubai had tripled in the past decade.

A ‘Happy’ Martin Kaymer’ At Omega Dubai Desert Classic

Martin Kaymer put a positive spin on things when discussing his weekend in Abu Dhabi earlier this month, insisting that his major blip when he squandered a 10-shot lead on the final day was one of the biggest learning experiences he has had on the golf course.

“I don’t want to call it bad experience because it wasn’t. Days like that may create a bad scorecard, but it reveals truth about yourself; that we are not a machine and that you’re not the German engineering which usually works, but once a while gets stuck too. Therefore, it was a brilliant day for me.

“I am feeling very calm because I am fine. I don’t see it (the meltdown) as negative. I didn’t lose much. I may have lost a few World Ranking Points, a trophy and some money. But I can handle all those three things,” said the double Major winner ahead of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, dubbed the ‘Major of the Middle East.’

“I have good memories of this tournament. The field is good and so is the course. There is nothing that you shouldn’t look forward to. I am approaching this week as a happy Martin Kaymer,” said the German who finished runner-up to Tiger Woods in 2008 despite a stunning birdie-birdie-eagle finish.

It was super exciting then because I was just over a year on the Tour. I had a chance to force a playoff with Tiger, but he birdied the 18th to win by one.”

Omega Dubai Desert Classic - PreviewsMeanwhile, Henrik Stenson is also hoping that good memories of his victory in the 2007 edition of the event will spur him to another success.

“It’s great to be back at Emirates Golf Club,” said the 39-year-old Swede. “I made Dubai my home for almost ten years and I played and practiced an awful lot here at Emirates, so I feel like I know this course inside out. Then I had the success in 2007 and another few high finishes.

“So it’s great to be back, I will hopefully have lots of support and a really enjoyable week.  I had a good finish on Saturday in Doha, the best round of the week for me, finished off with a couple birdies, and got a decent result,” said Stenson who finished last week’s Qatar Masters with an impressive six under par 66 to steal into a share of 13th place.

“Of course, the local knowledge and slight improvement in form should give me the chance to hopefully go a little bit better than I did in Doha.”

Seve Ballesteros and José Maria Olazábal, both multiple Major winners, are among the Spaniards that have etched their names on the iconic Omega Dubai Desert Classic trophy and Stenson’s 2014 Ryder Cup team-mate Sergio Garcia is hoping that he can add his name to that list.

The World Number Six also finished well in Qatar with a final-round 67 and he is hoping to take that momentum into this week as he attempts to become the fourth Spanish player to win this event in the past six years, after Miguel Angel Jiménez (2010), Rafa Cabrera-Bello (2011) and Alvaro Quiros (2012).

“Any time you get your name on a trophy, it’s a great feeling,” said the 34 year old. “It’s one of the reasons why we love playing the game and why we practice so hard.

“Obviously it’s going to take a lot of good things to do that. I think Dubai has done a great job, and I feel like the field this year is probably the strongest it’s been in the last three or four years. You know, it’s not going to be easy and it’s going to take a lot of patience, a lot of good golf and some good things to happen here and there when you need them the most.

“I think we’ve had five Spanish winners, if I recall, and it would be nice to make it six this week.”


DXB Takes Over Top Spot For International Passenger Traffic

Dubai Airports today released its year-end traffic report which confirm that Dubai International Airport, DXB, has secured its position as the number one airport for international passenger numbers. Full year passenger numbers totalled 70,475,636, up 6.1 percent from the 66,431,533 recorded in 2013.

This followed robust passenger traffic growth of 7.5 percent in December with 6,498,573 passengers passing through the facility compared to 6,047,126 recorded in the corresponding month the previous year.

“This historic milestone is the culmination of over five decades of double-digit average growth that were inspired by the vision of the late Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum. It is a vision that has been carried forward strongly by our leader, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum,” said H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman of Emirates Group, and Chairman of Dubai Airports.

He added, “The shared goal is to make Dubai a global centre of aviation and we are nearing that goal thanks to an open skies policy, a friendly business environment, Dubai’s growing attractiveness as a centre for trade, commerce and tourism, growing network connectivity due to the rapid expansion of Emirates and flydubai and timely investment in aviation infrastructure.” Aircraft movements in December rose 4 percent to 34,136, up marginally from the 32,832 recorded during December 2013. Full year aircraft movements totalled 357,339 compared to 369,953 in 2013, a contraction of 3.4 percent, primarily due to the temporary reduction of flights experienced during the 80 day runway refurbishment project during the summer, and the shift of freighter operators and general aviation to Al Maktoum International at Dubai World Central (DWC) earlier this year. Spurred by an ongoing increase in the number of wide bodied aircraft servicing the airport, the numbers of passengers per flight increased 5.1 percent to 208.3 passengers for the full year.

For the full year 2014, the top market for growth in passenger volumes was Western Europe (+1,192,831 passengers) closely followed by the Indian Subcontinent (+936,449), Asia (+716,180) and North America (+432,597). In terms of percentage growth in 2014, Eastern Europe (+21.0 percent) was the strongest market followed by North America (18.6 percent), Asia (12.6 per cent), Australasia (9.2 percent) and Western Europe (8.8 percent).

New Abra Service Casts Off In Capital

The epitome of Dubai’s sophisticated nightlife, Blends at The Address Dubai Marina is offering guests a 50% discount on all house beverages, serving as the perfect setting for a great night out.
Days: Every Sunday and Monday
Time: 4pm to 2am

Tuesday Tab Night
Enjoy five house beverages for just AED 100 available all night! Ladies will receive three complimentary signature blends that will be offered from 6pm to 12am. Check in to the city’s must-visit hotspot and enjoy the freshest beats with exclusive guest DJs.
Days: Every Tuesday



Price: AED 100 for five house beverages; ladies receive three free selected cocktails from 6pm to 12am

Ladies Night @ Blends
The ultra-stylish venue offers a paramount experience for the perfect night out. Ladies will receive complimentary beverages with an extended happy hour. Crafted especially for the ladies, Blends provides a chic retreat from the bustle of the city.
Days: Every Thursday
Time: 4pm to 3am

Price: Entrance for ladies and couples are free and AED 100 after 10pm for single gents. Free selected cocktails for ladies from 8pm to 12 midnight whilst men can enjoy the two-for-the-price-of-one including house beverages available from 4pm to 9pm

Friday’s @Blends
Enjoy the latest beats with a fusion of commercial and radio hits creating an upbeat ambiance within the chic décor. Ladies will receive complimentary beverages with an extended happy hour.
Days: Every Friday
Time: 4pm to 3am

Price: Entrance for ladies and couples are free and AED 100 after 10pm for single gents. Free selected cocktails for ladies from 8pm to 12 midnight while men can enjoy the two-for-the-price-of-one including house beverages available from 4pm to 9pm

Live Sports
Live Sports at Blends caters to all sport fanatics who can catch the latest sporting action
Date: Daily
Time: as per game schedul

Saturday Promotion
Price: Every Saturday, purchase a bottle of house vintage for AED 100, a bucket of a selected beverage for AED 100 or a jug of select concoctions for AED 100.
Time: 4pm – 2am

Blends Lounge
The premium beverage lounge is perfect for those who enjoy the art of pairing some of the finest selected beverages with our delicately prepared cuisines. Perfect for all times of the day; whether for lunch, after work or just catching up with friends expect a delightful experience in an intimate warm setting infused with jazz melodies.
Days: Daily
Time: 4pm – 2am
Price: A la carte


Ladies Night
The Address Marina welcomes all ladies to Shades every Wednesday to enjoy the picturesque views of Dubai’s shimmering night scene. Our “chill out” lounge is the perfect place to sit back, relax and take in the stunning views of Dubai, setting the scene for a stylish evening any night of your week.
Days: Every Wednesday
Offer: 3 complimentary house beverages
Time: 7pm to 10pm

Happy Hour
Shades, the trendy restaurant and lounge, is giving friends and family a unique opportunity to unwind in an exquisite atmosphere for the perfect evening out with great entertainment. Discounts of up to 50% are also available on select house beverages from the menu.
Days: Daily
Time: 5pm to 8pm

Geldof To Perform At The Irish Village

Bob Geldof will be appearing live in concert at the Irish Village on Friday 13th March 2015, joining his fans and Dubai’s Irish community, to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day weekend.

The legendary Irish musician who will be performing a selection of his solo and Boomtown Rats classic hits, is appearing in Dubai courtesy of the Transguard Group, the sponsors of the gig.


Geldof performed last year at the Irish Village to the delight of thousands of fans. Traditionally the concert is the major highlight of the venue’s annual three-day festival celebrating St Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland.

“I have been coming to Dubai for the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations since 2006, so this will be my ninth visit. Having the gig on Friday the 13th doesn’t phase me in the slightest. Last year, although the rain was ‘persistent’, we still managed to jam into the early hours courtesy of a makeshift stage and plenty of Irish spirit. So whatever the weather, this year is going to be a great craic as well,” said Geldof.

As one of the world’s best-known and, indeed, best-loved humanitarians and CSR (corporate social responsibility) advocates, Geldof has always made time to support a number of CSR projects initiated by Dubai-based Transguard Group and this year will be no different.

“Bob always takes a keen interest in our CSR initiatives. He has a serious message but manages to put it across so casually, it really resonates with people from many different cultures and backgrounds. He really is a great inspiration,” said Transguard Managing Director John Nolan.

“Geldof showed particular interest in Christel House a school for underprivileged children in Bangalore India, which Transguard has supported for many years,” said Nolan.

The concert and the associated events around Geldof’s visit are organized on behalf of Transguard by MJP Marketing & Events.