Dubai shares tourism goals with key stakeholders at Skift conference

Dubai shares tourism goals with key stakeholders at Skift conference

Tech should remove travel pain points, not create them, says Dubai Tourism CEO 

Speaking at the Skift Global Forum East, HE Issam Kazim, CEO of Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DCTCM) expressed Dubai’s commitment to eliminating the pain points of travel.

Kazim said: “Tech solutions should remove the annoyances of travel rather than become them. If we make travel seamless and comfortable, if we can remove hurdles, we make our destination even more accessible.”

Kazim discussed the importance of visitor satisfaction scores – a metric used in hotels as well as by the destination as a whole. The goal across the emirate, he stated, should be to maintain a score of nine or ten out of ten, something he said Dubai has consistently maintained.

Testament to visitors’ high satisfaction levels, 25% of visitors entering Dubai are repeat visitors, returning within 12 months. “This is high compared to anywhere in the world,” said Kazim.


Commenting on the success of the destination and the collaboration of stakeholders, Kazim added: “What’s remarkable about Dubai is the way we all work together, with the hotels and airports. It’s like Dubai Inc. We maintain dialogue to know where the opportunities are and what we’re possibly missing out on.”

Fellow panellist and speaker Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports agreed with Kazim. “Tech should serve people; people shouldn’t serve tech,” he said. “My vision is to make all of the tech in airports completely invisible. Tech should facilitate people serving people.”

Dubai named among world’s top cities in new ranking
Dubai International ranked among top 10 airports in the world for a layover

Interview: Laura Eggleton on the importance of strategic collaborations

Also sharing the stage, Philippe Zuber, CEO of Kerzner pointed out that the group’s luxury brand One&Only actively avoids certain technologies to enhance guest experience.

“Ultra-luxury hospitality relies on human interaction; it’s less about machines and tech,” said Zuber. “For example, we don’t want automated curtains in One&Only rooms; we want the guest to experience the feeling of opening their curtains to take in the resort. We are all about tech in the backend. For us tech is a process to ease our colleagues' workload and give them more time to interact with the guests.”

In a hospitality landscape increasingly dominated by bots and confusing room control panels, a directive to keep tech hidden from guests could be viewed as a contrary one – but it does align with hoteliers’ promises to allow guests to unplug.

Share article

View Comments