NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 29 – Kenyan businessmen planning to take part in the month-long Dubai Shopping Festival will be now be able to access cheap accommodation in the United Arabs Emirates city for the duration of the fair.
This is after Emirates Airline negotiated for accommodation with 21 major hotels for businessmen and leisure seekers attending the January 28 to February 2010 festival which will see them pay as little as Sh3,553 ($47) a night.
“The accommodation packages are open to Emirates passengers on all classes of travel with a choice of accommodation suitable to each class of travel. For a minimum stay of three nights with the option to extend. The offer includes breakfast and personalised meet-and-assist on arrival,” said Emirates Regional Manager for East Africa Essa Sulaiman Ahmad adding that the charges are inclusive of taxes.
Mr Ahmad pointed out that the UAE is now one of Kenya\’s largest trading partners as evidenced by the heightened trade and tourism between the two countries.
In a bid to take advantage of these relations, the Kenyan government has been actively and aggressively pursuing investment partners in its growing economy.
Recently, a high-level Kenyan delegation visited Dubai, where the government officially opened a tourism office which is now operated by the Kenya Tourism Board.
In the first 10 months of last year, 9,317 visitors from the UAE visited Kenya, up from 7,688 in 2006 and 8,147 in 2007. This growth has largely been attributed to better exposure, improved airline links and a growing investment in Kenya.
“We encourage the Kenyan businessmen and leisure travellers to make use of the offers Emirates has extended. As an airline, we will continue to do our part by linking the two countries and offering associated travel assistance the best way we can,” said the regional manager of the carrier which operates double daily flights between Nairobi and Dubai.
The 32 day shopping event, which was launched in 1996 to position Dubai as a leading tourist destination, is expected to go a long way in stimulating investments in the two economies.
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 government and the private sector.
The 15th edition of the shopping fiesta, backed by the strong participation of 50 shopping malls and over 6000 retail outlets, will have on offer massive discounts on international brands.
Visitors flying emirates will also receive an Arabian Adventures Welcome Pack with Privilege Discount Card and an additional baggage allowance of 10 kg on their return or onward flights from Dubai. For onward-bound passengers breaking journey in Dubai to experience the DSF, stopover charges will be waived.