The United Arab Emirates is a country which is synonymous with its enchanting malls and glitzy hotels and little do the tourists who visit the country are aware of the Emirate of Ajman which is only a short drive from Dubai
Our efforts to promote Arabian heritage are reflected in our slogan, ‘Sincerely Emirati’. A charming Emirate with rich traditions and genuinely welcoming people, Ajman offers an experience of the true spirit of modern Emirati hospitality.” – HE Saleh Mohamed Al Geziry, Director General of Ajman Tourism Development Department
To know more about tourism in the Emirate of Ajman and what the department is doing to increase visitor numbers in line with Ajman Vision 2021, MediWorld ME had a conversation with His Excellency Saleh Mohamed Al Geziry, Director General of Ajman Tourism Development Department. Here is our conversation in Q&A format.
Do you agree that rising popularity of Ajman as a destination of choice reflects your relentless investments in building a vibrant tourism offering for visitors from across the region and beyond as well as your concerted efforts to promote the Arabian heritage?
The Emirate of Ajman is an increasingly popular destination for a large number of tourists from within the UAE and abroad. In 2018, the number of guests at Ajman’s hotels, furnished apartments and resorts rose to 632,292, an impressive year on year growth of 16 per cent. The number of room nights increased by almost 10 per cent, while RevPar increased by approximately 6 per cent and total revenue rose by 2 per cent to AED467 million.
As part of our strategy to highlight and promote tourism in the Emirate of Ajman locally, regionally and inter nationally, Ajman Tourism Development Department (ATDD) will participate in three major exhibitions this year: ITB Berlin; the Arabian Travel Market in Dubai; and the World Travel Market in London. ATDD will also be participating in the ‘Visit UAE’ road shows to India, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Scandinavia and Russia along with the Ministry of Economy.
Our efforts to promote Arabian heritage are reflected in our slogan, “Sincerely Emirati”. A charming Emirate with rich traditions and genuinely welcoming people, Ajman offers an experience of the true spirit of modern Emirati hospitality.
Do you agree that repeat travellers need to be engaged to get better results?
Repeat travellers are incredibly important to us and to the tourism industry as a whole. When someone returns to a destination, it means that their first stay was excellent; it is our goal to ensure an outstanding level of service and overall experience across all areas of the tourism industry. If you take care of a guest, they will keep coming back.
In addition to its rich heritage, Ajman has a variety of activities and attractions for people of all ages. Guests can enjoy stunning beaches, pristine coastline, mangrove forests, and villages in the Hajar Mountains. Ajman also offers something for everyone from heritage enthusiasts to people who enjoy outdoor sports and tourists who love shopping and luxury beach holidays. Visitors may enjoy a holiday at a resort and then decide to return to spend time at our cultural sites and festivals.
Ajman Tourism Development Department (ATDD) is participating in three major exhibitions this year: ITB
Berlin; the Arabian Travel Market in Dubai; and the World Travel Market in London. ATDD will also be participating in the ‘Visit UAE’ road shows to India, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Scandinavia and Russia along
with the Ministry of Economy.
Is tourism a top priority under the development policies of the UAE in line with the Ajman vision of
Our role is to promote our emirate as a tourist destination and Ajman Tourism Development Department is keen to showcase a number of Ajman’s major tourism projects and services in line with the strategic objectives of Ajman Vision 2021, which include increasing the number of visitors to the Emirate.
Specifically, this includes promoting Ajman’s tourist attractions at trade events and exhibitions. Our upcoming participation in the ‘Visit UAE’ road shows will provide us with opportunities to network and collaborate with key industry leaders and tour operators.
Additionally, we plan to continue to develop Ajman’s key attractions and historic sites while improving sustainability and the investment environment in order to attract continued investment in the Emirate. The Government of Ajman has spent the last few years concentrating on the development of the Emirate’s real estate sector and generating a significant amount of interest in the Emirate. Furthermore, the Emirate has plans to develop more leisure and tourism projects and to provide facilities to investors who want to establish tourism projects in the Emirate. Overall, we aim to make Ajman the destination of choice for both regional and international tourists.
Are you also planning to promote Medical Tourism in Ajman?
Ajman Tourism sector includes many segments such as: leisure, business tourism, sports, cultural and medical. Ajman as a destination is home to many well established hospitals and clinics which cater to patients of different medical requirements. With the further development of medical facilities and ser vices, more tourism opportunities are being developed.
What would you say on India being a leading volume generator for tourism to Ajman?
India continues to be an important market for the UAE in general and Ajman in particular; the Emirate welcomed 25,870 visitors from India in 2018, a year on year increase of 12.4 per cent and the guest nights from India spent 36,000 in Ajman last year.
These figures are indicative of the importance of India’s market to Ajman tourism and they reflect our continued efforts to strengthen partnerships with major tourist operators in India. We continue to work with industry partners in an effort to grow these numbers. On a broader scale, this growth demonstrates the benefits of the long term cooperation and strategic partnership between the United Arab Emirates and India.
What is your department’s plans to attract the international tourists coming for Expo 2020?
People are optimistic about the impact that Expo 2020 Dubai will have on the tourism industry. With an expected 25 million Expo-related visits between October 2020 and April 2021, visitors will no doubt be open to exploring and discovering other parts of the country. Ajman is only an hour drive from the site of Expo 2020, and almost 30 minutes from Dubai Airport.