DUBAI views Indonesia as a potential market for tourism with visit numbers continuing to increase from year to year. Data from the Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism (DET), in 2019 or before the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of Indonesian tourists visiting Dubai reached around 32,000 visits.

According to DET’s Senior Manager of International Operations, Shahab Shayan, at a media meeting in Central Jakarta recently, said that Indonesia is one of Dubai’s most important markets in Southeast Asia. In recent years the numbers have continued to rise and stand out as our main market. Even though the numbers fell during the pandemic, they are now starting to climb again and reach 20% more than 2019 in the first six months of 2023.

“The views of this figure as a positive achievement and continues to strive for improvement in the future, including by introducing destinations that were previously not very familiar to Indonesian tourists. For us, the main focus may be more than 45,000,” he said.

Nevertheless, Shahab understands the competition that Dubai faces with other countries to attract tourists from Indonesia. For example, Europe, which he predicts will be stronger in the tourism market next year. That’s why Dubai launched a number of campaigns, including collaborating with local actress Marsha Timothy.

“So we are making sure we are active in the (tourism) market, trying more campaigns, activities and connecting more with the media, so that the message reaches consumers. I think the more we do this, the greater the education and awareness we will have of the market tourists in Indonesia,” Shahab remarked.

On the same occasion, Shahab also dismissed the opinion of most people, especially Indonesian people, that Dubai tourism is considered expensive or luxurious. According to him, there are more choices that can be used as alternatives for tourism according to your budget. For example, in choosing a hotel or destination.

He also emphasized that Dubai is now increasingly open to welcoming backpackers. In recent years we have become more open to backpackers. There are many one, two, three star hotels that can be an option and there are many free places to visit.

“Several cheap tourist activities that are recommended include visiting Global Village, where the entrance ticket is only US$5 (around IDR80,000) or riding a traditional Abra boat, which costs less than US$1 (around IDR15,000),” he explained.

For those looking for culinary delights, Shahab also suggests going to the souks or markets to explore local street food, as well as affordable places to eat in malls.

“We don’t have to spend up to US$100 for food. We can still find something for US$10 and still enjoy other experiences in this city,” he concluded. [sources/photo special]