Expo, FIFA to drive business to the region

Over the past few months, Expo has impacted travellers into the UAE. Mohamed Khater, Regional Manager and Managing Partner of Flash Horizon, part of Flash Group, shares with TRAVTALK the latest inbound trends and their way forward to open a new division.

Shehara Rizly

Has there been new inbound source markets to the UAE?

We have seen the rise of tourists from CIS markets such as Russia, Kazakhastan, Ukraine, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the UAE. As soon as the UAE lifted restrictions, tourists from various new source markets visited Dubai. The UK and France follows close to the five markets mentioned earlier.

What are the plans for Flash Horizon created in the UAE?

We opened the outbound division at Flash Horizon targeting our strong base destinations such as Sharm El Sheikh, Sicily and Zanzibar. The market is dynamic and we need to be prepared and think and act differently to present something new to our clients. Very soon we will be looking at some unexplored destinations where it will be new and a different experience.

Has Expo impacted inbound travel?

Expo has a very positive Impact to the travel trends to the country as it is a very important event, in fact the biggest almost post pandemic. Majority of the travelers coming to the UAE whether on leisure, business or even mixture of it bleisure are visiting Expo and we have booked them to attend it. We have welcomed many groups and VIP delegations, students etc to visit Expo and not just for one day visit, in fact we have seen a lot of travelers visiting Expo for over two or three days and sometimes even more. So, Expo has made an impact on the visitors coming to the UAE some are in other emirates yet they visit Expo as it is in their agenda.

How is MICE business at present in Dubai, as the capacity rules have now changed?

MICE is an important segment for us here in the UAE. Easing of rules has positively impacted the MICE industry. Over the past few weeks increasing the capacities in meeting rooms, concert halls and ballrooms returning to the normal.  It gives global planners, associations the confidence to host their events in the UAE.

The more these are highlighted, the more positive impact it will have in drawing visitors to the UAE. It will not just include conferences and events but sports events, adventure visits, travel and trade events will have a combined positive effect in luring visitors to the UAE.

Are you working on any special arrangements for FIFA?

As a matter of fact FIFA is a world class sports event to be recognized and held within the region. The UAE is taking all steps to welcome fans, spectators and people supporting the teams to plan their stays to watch the matches.

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