Speaking with Aviamost, HE Faisal Al Nuaimi, General Manager of The Ajman Tourism Development Department (ATDD), said, “In accordance with the trends and targets of Ajman Vision 2021, Ajman delegation to WTM highlighted its significant efforts with regard to the development of tourism infrastructure in the emirate, with the focus of increasing the number of visitors in 2017 by 20%, following the remarkable growth of tourists from Europe to the Emirate”.
As a fast developing tourist destination, what are your new projects?
The soon-to-open The Oberoi, Al Zorah, a luxury hotel with spacious rooms and suites that will cater primarily to luxury-seeking and wellness-focused guests who demand exclusivity and privacy. There is also the ongoing 182-key hotel in Ajman Corniche by R Hotels, the hospitality arm of Ajman-based R Holding, which was launched at a cost of $40.9 million (AED150 million). The new hotel is targeting an opening date in 2017.
In addition to new hotels, motels and resort, the emirate has new attractions such as Al-Zorah protectorate, Al Zorah Golf Club, Al-Rashidiya Park, Al-Helio Park and the Ajman big Corniche, which is considered one of the most important beaches in the United Arab Emirates that spread over a huge open space that gives you the best view of Arabic Gulf.
Is Ajman family oriented destination? What tourism attraction can offer Ajman to the guests from CIS?
Ajman’s key attributes are its sunny climate, safety and security, family atmosphere, reasonable prices and Arab hospitality.
Our tourist-oriented services will definitely appeal to visitors as Ajman is a safe and family-friendly destination with great accessibility; it is only 30 km away from Dubai International Airport DXB, and 18 km away from Sharjah International Airport.
At present, the Ajman Museum is one of the main historical attractions in the UAE. An old fortress, it has been transformed into an integrated museum displaying models of antiquities, traditional industries and artifacts as well as images portraying the way of life in the past. The museum aims to introduce the nature of life in the UAE society before the discovery of oil.
Aside from the city of Ajman, the emirate also has jurisdiction over two enclaves in the UAE – Al Manama located in the east of Ajman and Masfout, located n the south of the UAE near Hatta. Masfout is a summer retreat for residents of Ajman because of its elevated altitude and distance from the city offer cooler climate and fresh breeze. The rocky countryside surrounding the town is ideal for walking, mountain hiking, picnics and wadi exploration.
The region of Manama is where visitors can enjoy the unspoilt natural landscape with its majestic dunes, palm trees and the Hajjar mountain.
How change the number of visitors to Ajman for Q3 this year comparing previous years.
Ajman tourism received total guests of 137,795 for the third quarter of 2016 compared to 130,953 for the same period in 2015.
How big would you say is the impact from CIS countries?
In Q3 2015, the number of guests from Russia who visited Ajman was 7,444. This year, we have seen a noticeable decline in Russian guests. For Q3, the numbers dropped to 4,188 as a result of the national currency in Russia showing its weakness since last year, losing half of its value against the US dollar. The decline has made traveling abroad more expensive for Russians who earn in rouble.
What are the strategies for Ajman Tourism working on CIS markets?
Ajman Tourism is still optimistic that once the situation improves, visitors from Russia and the CIS countries will start flocking again to the emirate. We continue to work with industry partners to invite tour operators and Media for familiarization trips to Ajman. Recently, we hosted tour operators from Ukraine. We are planning to host other groups from this part of the world. In addition, the Ajman tourism website is now available in the Russian language as well as the Ajman Mini Guide, so visitors searching about Ajman will discover the many attractions and activities that we can offer to make their stay an enjoyable one.
Please let us know about new classification criteria for desert camps and tourism villages?
The Ajman Tourism Development Department (ATDD) launched two classification programs for desert camps and tourism villages, the first of its kind in the United Arab Emirates.
Desert camps are divided into two types which are day use and overnight but will fall under one category while tourism villages will have different categories of 5-star, 4-star and 3-stars based on the facilities and services that they will offer to tourists and residents.
The new classification criteria is in line with Ajman Vision 2021 to promote the emirate’s growing tourism industry and offer a diverse range of attractions for both tourists and residents who are visiting the emirate.
What on your opinion makes Ajman as a destination and different from the other emirates?
Each of the emirate has its own distinct offerings and Ajman is located in the middle so travellers will have easy access to a lot of attractions whether in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Fujairah and Ras Al Khaimah.
Attracting international visitors is of paramount importance to Ajman Tourism Development Department. We can promise our guests not only world-class hotels and attractions, but also impeccable service and hospitality for the duration of their visit.
Guests can explore the stunning world-class course in Al Zorah Golf Club and a must visit in Ajman and one of the most important tourism landmarks is Ajman Museum which houses the most valuable artefacts and depicts the industry, traditional trading and the social life back then. It is an ideal place for the new generation to learn about their antecedents history, how they lived, their life pattern and what kind of difficulties they faced to secure life needs.
Not to be missed is the annual Liwa Ajman Date Festival where hundreds of farmers showcase the best and finest types of locally produced dates.
Many CIS citizens consider Ajman as an good investment or place for business. What Ajman can offer for business travelers? And what development projects are in focus now?
One of our goals in having a new destination brand is to attract investors into Ajman because we have different facilities that can support their business and we are glad that it was received well by majority of the industry’s stakeholders.
Please tell us more about Ajman 2021 program.
Since its inception, the aim of Ajman Tourism is to highlight the importance of tourist attractions available in the Emirate of Ajman and this objective has been successfully met. In 2016, Ajman Tourism laid down more thorough strategic plans for tourism promotion, locally, regionally and internationally, via holding/participating in conferences, exhibitions, and international promotion campaigns. These trends will remain in focus for years to come in a bid to further develop the tourism industry and to generate a high interest of clients and guests in niche destinations in the Emirate of Ajman.
Our top priority is to increase the number of visitors in 2017 through local, regional and international promotions. Ajman Tourism will also enhance cooperation with major tour operators in selected strong markets in GCC, India and China by taking advantage of its effective internal and external relationships, ensuring it has the sufficient and substantial capabilities to support its future mission and strategic initiatives especially for 2017. Besides, Ajman Tourism will further thrive to achieve quick gains to reach the defined strategic outcomes. This, in turn, will promote the tourism sector in Ajman and enhance its competitiveness at a national level
Therefore, this strategic plan which is part of the Ajman Vision 2021 lays out a roadmap for Ajman Tourism to build, enhance and sustain its strategic performance for all stakeholders and partners. Undoubtedly, Ajman Tourism leadership has the confidence, commitment and capacity required for implementing the strategy, motivating employees and partners and mobilizing resources in order to realize its vision, mission and values