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Bavaria Comes to Abu Dhabi and Doha
By Jamal Al Majaida
ABU DHABI — Bavaria, with its rich culture and history, unspoilt scenic beauty is the number one destination of tourists to Germany. "This year, the German National Tourist Board will be bringing a piece of Bavaria to Abu Dhabi and Doha in a specially dedicated road show that will focus on the best of what Bavaria has to offer," says Heike Murad, Manager GCC States, German National Tourist Board Office in Dubai, GNTB.

The road shows will start off in Doha on April 5, 2005 at the Marriott Hotel. It will be then in Abu Dhabi on April 6, 2005 at the Beach Rotana Hotel. Both road shows will highlight Bavaria as the perfect get-away destination. A number of tourist related offices and travel agencies will be attending the event. "GNTB opened its doors in Dubai to enhance Germany's presence in the region. It is the marketing provider for the German tourist industry. We bring together the partners from our different travel industries and introduce them to the different foreign travel industries worldwide. Throughout the world GNTB markets the diverse and exciting nature of travel to Germany," Murad added.

Murad said that as part of their international marketing strategy the board has created activities called "Theme Years." Theme years are product lines created every year and focuses on specific themes to promote Germany as a travel destination. For 2005 GNTB focuses on the "Family Holidays and the Vibrant Towns and Cities" Themes.

In 2006, according to Murad, the theme will focus mainly on the 2006 FIFA World Cup, a major international sporting event that will see thousands of soccer fans from all around the world travelling to Germany. GNTB will be using this sporting event to enhance Germany's presence and image by organising an extensive marketing and promotional campaigns throughout the world.

As for the upcoming Arabian Travel Market in May, Murad said the Germany will have a big stand for Bavaria and another major stand fully dedicated to the FIFA 2006 World Cup.

"We will be bringing in with us some of the German FIFA officials to give prospective tourists and soccer enthusiasts more information about the event and other activities which they can enjoy while in Germany. Aside from that, we will have special games and FIFA items on display and lots more," Murad added.

"We consider the ATM in Dubai as foremost tourism trade fair in the Middle East as in brings in and gathers all the important tourism partners in the region. Now that we already have our office here in Dubai, we are more accessible and are able to provide direct information to anyone who wishes to know about Germany and what it has to offer to potential tourists. We are optimistic that our presence here in this region will certainly increase the volume of tourists coming from the Middle East to Germany," says Murad.

Meanwhile, Murad welcomed the resolution issued by the government of Germany and France to ease and expedite the issuing of Schengen visa to UAE citizens in one to two days to EU countries. Previously, it takes up to 10 to 14 days for a Schengen visa to be processed. She said that this a very positive step that will surely contribute to the increase of not only UAE tourists but more importantly local businessmen as well to Germany.






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