Russian trade comes calling to Dubai

Dubai’s leading Russian tour operator, Natalie Tours organised its 12th annual congress with over 200 CEOs and owners of Russian travel agencies, who have shown the best sales performance in the UAE during the past year, in attendance.

SHEHARA RIZLY

Natalie Tours’ annual congress was partnered by its UAE arm, Alpha Destination Management, Dubai Tourism, flydubai and Atlantis-The Palm. The event was hosted for the fifth time at Atlantis-The Palm under the patronage of H.E. Gocha Buachidze, Consul General of Russian Federation in Dubai, H.E. Ahmed Khalifa Al Falasi, CEO, Support Services, Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DCTCM), Vladimir Vorobiev, President, Natalie tours, Adnan Aridi, Managing Director, Alpha Destination Management, Serge Zaalof, COO, Atlantis-The Palm Dubai, Jeyhun Efendi, Senior Vice President – Commercial Operations UAE, Middle East, Europe, CIS, flydubai and Natalia Vorobieva, General Director, Natalie Tours.
For two decades now, the leading Russian tour operator with a 25-year history of work in the Russian travel services market has been holding this event to award best sellers, discuss further cooperation with top managers of retail companies and motivate its partners to promote the travel direction and increase sales of Natalie Tours’ services in the UAE. Currently, the share of Natalie Tours’ customers in the total flow of Russian tourists travelling to the UAE exceeds 15 per cent, and this indicator ranks Natalie Tours as number one travel agency for the UAE destination. According to the results of the past winter season, the United Arab Emirates were in first place in the company’s sales structure, accounting for 43 per cent in the revenue distribution and for 37 per cent in the total number of serviced customers. While opening the Managers’ Congress, V. Vorobyev said that Natalie Tours planned to “at least double” these indicators.
In his address, Al Falasi stated, “We have a wide range of hotel categories for Russian travellers to suit their budget as we now have over 100,000 hotel rooms. Dubai hospitality has diversified but the service standard has increased the quality to ensure that visitors return to Dubai. The two carriers, Emirates and flydubai have increased capacities over the years and from October 1, 2017, Emirates will further increase capacity on the Dubai-Moscow route. End of the month sees flydubai increasing to 10 flights so that more Russian travellers can visit. Our overall goal is to welcome over 20 million visitors by 2020 and this is possible with your continued support.”
In his opening speech, V. Vorobyev also referred to the rapid development of UAE hotel base and the focus of the country’s authorities on boosting the flow of Russian tourists. He reiterated, “In 2013, the number of tourists visiting from Russia to Dubai had a good growth, then when the economic crisis hit the nation, there was a drop in tourist numbers. However, this year we have seen a further increase and hope to have at least 150,000 tourists from Russia before the end of the year and by 2018 target nearly 200,000.” Adnan Aridi, MD, Alpha Destination Management, stated, “We have been working together with Natalie Tours for the past 15 years. The last quarter of this year looks very good and we are hoping that the numbers will increase. With the support of our partners flydubai increasing flights to Russian destinations and DTCM extending their support we are bound to have a good influx of Russian tourists.”

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