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Dubai gears up shopping festival

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 17 – Dubai is gearing up for the 32 days of world-class entertainment and shopping experience during the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) that takes place between January 20 and February 20.

The 15th edition of the shopping fiesta, backed by the strong participation of 22 beach and city hotels and two apartments, will have on offer massive discounts on international brands.

According to Emirates Airline Regional Manager for East Africa Essa Sulaiman Ahmad, the airline has negotiated for accommodation for Kenyan businessman and leisure seekers attending the 2011 Dubai shopping festival.

Major beach and city hotels in Dubai will go for as little as US$55 a night. Under the deal, the hotels will offer one free night to travellers who book a four-night stay.

“At Emirates, we always strive to give more value to our customers. We believe these negotiated rates will provide incentives to Kenyan travellers and businessmen to attend this year’s Dubai Shopping Festival.  We are also giving bonus nights for longer stays, for example we are giving eight-nights for the price of six-nights, 12 nights for the price of nine and 16 for the price of 12,” he said.

The accommodation packages are open to Emirates passengers on all classes of travel with a choice of accommodation suitable to each class of travel. Travellers will also be able to enjoy tax-free shopping, as well as discounts of up to 50 percent on a wide variety of items during the Shopping Festival.

"Packages can be purchased through travel agents and Emirates offices and can be booked on either the inbound or outbound sectors to Dubai, or both.”

The package also includes an Arabian Adventures welcome pack, airport transfers to/from the hotel by private car, breakfast daily and all taxes and service charges. 

The airline has also offered additional baggage allowance of 20 kg in the economy class, 10 on the business class and 10 in the first class effectively taking baggage allowance to 40kg in both economy and business classes and to 50kg in first class.

Improving trade ties The United Arab Emirates is now one of Kenya’s fastest growing trading partners and tourist source markets.

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To further strengthen trade and tourism ties between the two nations Kenya has since opened a representative tourism office in Dubai, now operated by the Kenya Tourism Board.

Last year Kenya took part in the Arabian Travel Market held in Dubai, highlighting the growth of Middle Eastern visitors to the country.

Kenya saw a growth in arrivals from the Middle East, with visitors from UAE reaching 13,000 in 2009, a 6.4 per cent increase over the previous year.

“This may seem like a small number, but is very positive. We still performed very well with the Middle Eastern market despite political crises we had in 2007-08,” said Cecily Mbarire, Kenya\’s Assistant Minister of Tourism.

Mr Ahmad noted that better exposure and improved airline links and a growing investment in Kenya had helped spur the growth.

“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," Mr Ahmad said.

Emirates Airline now operates double daily flights between Nairobi and Dubai.

The Dubai Shopping 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 government and the private sectors.

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