Sunday, July 3, 2022

Uganda eyes UAE, Middle East as key tourism markets

Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) has announced the launch of a revitalized and strengthened multi-level tourism push to attract residents of the UAE and other Gulf countries to choose Uganda as their preferred destination for luxury adventure and reconnection programs with nature.

The announcement was made in conjunction with Uganda’s participation at Expo 2020, and the launch of inaugural direct flights by Uganda Airlines to Dubai.

Speaking at the forum and heading a delegation of 15 officials and key professionals from the Ugandan tourism industry, UTB CEO Lilly Ajarova said: “We are excited to launch our revitalized international travel program targeting the UAE and GCC specifically. Our presence this week in Dubai, along with the launch of Expo 2020 and the launch of Uganda Airlines flights to Dubai makes this mission extremely poignant and meaningful.”

The African country has direct flights between Uganda and the UAE, with Emirates flying five times a week and flydubai daily flights from Dubai, and Air Arabia operating three flights a week from Sharjah starting October 10. Uganda Airlines touched down in Dubai for the first time on October 4 and has scheduled flights three times a week. 

Qatar Airways also operates daily direct flights from Doha to Uganda.

Using the many carriers and flight options available, the UTB will launch a number of “partnerships and marketing initiatives, to ensure quality-focused tourism offerings are made available to the residents of the UAE and other Gulf countries seeking rejuvenation, a reconnection to nature and people and meaningful luxury moments in a covid-safe environment”.

The Ugandan Pavilion at Expo 2020 will also feature opportunities for visitors to learn what the country has to offer as a travel destination, as well as discovery travel packages with value-added offers. A plethora of digital marketing, social media campaigns as well as the hosting of UAE media influencers and key travel agents will also be conducted to spread the word of Uganda as the Pearl of Africa.

Representing the hotel and hospitality industry, UTB Vice Chairperson and Uganda Hotel Owners Association Chairperson Susan Muhwezi said: “The Ugandan tourism industry is committed to reaching out to the UAE and surrounding Gulf countries on many levels. 

“Through consumer and travel trade marketing, exceptional holiday experiences will be created and communicated to entice visitors. Additionally, we are committed to engage with the UAE’s many hotel suppliers, hospitality and tourism training professionals to ensure that our two tourism industries are well connected at different levels.”

“In addition to a comprehensive roll out of marketing activities from this month into the New Year, our marketing program in the UAE will be enhanced as we will also look to make the UAE and the Middle East region the first international market to launch our new branding campaign that will be launched in early 2022. With our representative office located in Dubai, our commitment to this market is strong and long term,” concluded Ajarova.

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