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Emirates unveils juicy shopping offer

FINANCIAL STANDARD
By | February 2nd 2010

By John Oyuke

Emirates Airline has unveiled a set of offers to attract Kenyan traders to this year’s Dubai Shopping Festival.

The annual shopping extravaganza, which attracts millions from across the globe, kicked off last week until February 28.

The airline has negotiated for accommodation for businessmen and leisure seekers attending the festival, with major hotels in Dubai for as little as $47 ( Sh3,572) a night.

Emirates Regional Manager for East Africa, Essa Sulaiman Ahmad, said the package would include a three-night accommodation at a choice of 21 selected hotels to businessmen planning to source their wares during the festivals.

"The accommodation packages are open to Emirates passengers on all classes of travel, with a choice of accommodation suitable to each class of travel," he told the Financial Journal.

Visitors flying emirates will also receive an Arabian Adventures Welcome Pack, with a privilege discount card and an additional baggage allowance of 10 kg, on their return flights from Dubai. For onward-bound passengers breaking journey in Dubai to experience the DSF, stopover charges will be waived, he added last week.

Month long

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The month-long festival, which is usually awaited by bargain hunters both in and outside the United Arab Emirates (UAE), is expected to boost Dubai’s retail industry.

The UAE is one of Kenya’s largest trading partners, and the Government is currently pursuing investment partners in its pulsating economy.

A high-level Kenyan delegation recently visited Dubai to further strengthen trade and tourism ties between the two countries. The trip coincided with the first ever Kenya Week celebrations in the UAE, featuring Kenya trade, investment and Tourism opportunities at the Dubai Chamber of Commerce. During the visit, the Kenyan Government officially opened a representative tourism office in Dubai, now run by the Kenya Tourism Board.

It is estimated that in the first 10 months of last year, 9,317 visitors from the UAE came to Kenya, up from 8,147 in 2007, and 7,688 in 2006.

Better exposure

According to Ahmad, better exposure, improved airline links and a growing investment in Kenya, helped spur the growth in the number of tourists. He encouraged Kenyan businessmen and leisure travellers to use of the offers Emirates has extended.

Emirates Airline currently operates twice daily flights between Nairobi and Dubai.

The Dubai Festival was launched in 1996 to position Dubai as a leading tourist destination, and to stimulate the economic and tourism sectors in the city of Dubai.

The concept was the first of its kind in the region, and proved to be highly successful mainly due to the close co-operation between the Dubai Government and the private sectors.

The 15th edition of the shopping fiesta will feature 50 shopping malls and over 6000 retail outlets, and offer massive discounts on international brands.

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