The Mena region has received a growing inflow of tourists driving growth in attractions and destinations.
To support countries in the Mena region rethinking their strategies and implementing new plans for reopening existing destinations and attractions in a safe and sustainable manner post the pandemic slowdown, Mena Attractions & Destinations Forum 2022 will be held on 28th and 29th September, 2022 in Dubai, UAE to explore upcoming cultural and leisure projects and ways to drive growth for the tourism sector.
The interactive forum will host over 300 international and regional stakeholders from key sectors, including governments, tourism agencies and consultancies, hotel chains, park owners and operators, museums, culture and heritage site authorities, technology and solution providers, and investment institutions.
With several global heritage and religious sites, modern attractions, and leisure destinations, over 50 million tourists visit the region every year.
The Mena region has received a growing inflow of tourists driving growth in attractions and destinations. However, some key challenges still hinder the region from capitalising on the industry’s full potential, especially with the changing demographics, infrastructure, weather conditions, and technology developments.
The forum will also focus on developing and rebranding destinations that cater to a diverse population, current innovative family entertainment and edutainment that meets visitor requirement, converting heritage sites into new attractions to cater to different population segments and capitalising on live entertainment to increase visitors.
Osama Khlawee, AVP Tourism Sites and Destination Development Leader, said, “Developing destinations entails planning defined areas to drive the evolution of vibrant destinations for tourists, ensuring compelling experiences, diversified tourism offerings, quality infrastructure, and services to attract people to live, work, and return to the destination. Taking full account of its current and future economic, social, and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment, and host communities assuring proper management as well as marketing which are especially significant for destinations to attract fresh investments, develop value-added jobs, recruit new talent, and boost innovation.” Richard Krent, Director for Development, Qiddiya, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia said, “Destination Development requires an intensity of creative artistry with a sense of joy that connects with its audience.” Participants will learn about museums and heritage site developments in the Mena region, how to drive innovations in theme parks and water parks and get familiar with projects related to extreme sports and theme parks.
The jam-packed two-day agenda will feature a series of sessions by speakers from entities like the World Tourism Association, tourism ministries, cultural ministries and projects, Entertainment project developers and more who will be addressing key industry topics.
The session on modernising the region’s attractions and destinations will feature experts talking about expanding and upgrading existing facilities and sites to increase their capacity and attractiveness to tourists, how to convert temporary facilities into permanent entertainment zone and understand the role of travel agencies in driving attendance to the region’s destinations.
Speakers will also talk about enhancing the visitor experience in the region’s destinations and the role of eco-tourism in sustainable development projects. The two-day event is organised and promoted by GM Events, a Dubai-based multi-faceted event management company of international repute, having organised numerous successful forums and exhibitions for different industries across the Mena region.
The UAE tourism sector has performed well in the first half of the 2022. All the big attractions and destinations in the country have received a very large numbers of global and domestic tourists.
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi has received 1,520,697 guests including 454,339 worshippers and about 1,033,045 visitors during the first half of 2022.
Around 19% of the visitors were from the UAE, and 81% were tourists. To elaborate, 51% of the visitors were male, 49% were female, and the majority were aged between 25 to 35 years, constituting 32% of the total worshippers and visitors who flocked to the mosque worldwide.
Visitors from India lead the top three countries visiting the mosque, followed by France and the USA. During the year’s first half, the number of those using the mosque’s jogging trail reached more than 33,000 users.