Gulf Ventures eyes new markets

Dubai-based destination specialist, Gulf Ventures has revealed its global expansion strategy, which will focus on developing fast growing and emerging markets.

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By  Gemma Hornett Published  September 4, 2006

Dubai-based destination specialist, Gulf Ventures has revealed its global expansion strategy, which will focus on developing fast growing and emerging markets. The Dubai-headquartered DMC, a division of MMI, is planning to open offices or appoint representatives in Benelux and Scandanavia, two European regions that are proving extremely lucrative for incentive and leisure bookings, and is eyeing opportunities in Japan and China. Closer to home, the company is preparing to open an office in Abu Dhabi in a bid to tap into the growing interest in the emirate, which is currently undergoing rapid development and where hotel prices are more attractive than in pricey Dubai. “Abu Dhabi is going to become the cultural capital of the Middle East, especially with the Guggenheim Museum opening up there,” explained Mary Anne Boyers, manager, Gulf Ventures. “We are just waiting for our tourism license and then we will open the office, which will initially deal with the logistics and operations side of things.” Key activities on Abu Dhabi itineraries will include overnight safaris, cultural tours, day tours to Al Ain, off-roading in the Empty Quarter, and round trips including Dubai and Oman. “We have already started putting incentive groups into Abu Dhabi. We recently had Siemens from Austria stay at Emirates Palace,” said Boyers. Gulf Ventures already operates offices or has representative wholesalers in Dubai, Oman, London, Ireland, Frankfurt, Moscow and Sydney. South America and Mexico are also burgeoning markets and Emirates’ plans to operate services to Brazil and Argentina (ATN July 1) will further boost interest, according to Boyers. “We are also getting four- and five-star business from Thailand and The Philippines,” added Deborah Bevan, Gulf Ventures’ operations manager. “We are also arranging weddings now; for the German and UK markets in Dubai.” Other niche incentive groups heading to Dubai include schools and sports teams and despite the high room rates in the emirate, Boyers believes inbound business will continue to boom. “People always have something to come back for, whether it be Dubailand, the City of Arabia or Sports City. They will regenerate tourists who have been here before and also create interest from a new breed of visitors,” she said.

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