Complex Made Simple

Virtual tourism comes to Dubai International Airport

The Emirates News Agency (WAM) just announced the latest innovation at Dubai International Airport (DXB). The new activation, dubbed “MyDubai Experience,” provides a futuristic and innovative way for travellers to discover and learn more about the city without setting foot outside the airport. It allows transit passengers who wouldn’t be able to visit the country to be able to virtually experience the sights and wonders of Dubai, all from the digital installation at Terminal 3, Concourse A.

Commenting on this new activation, Issam Kazim, CEO of Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing, DCTCM, said, “Dubai International is the world’s busiest airport for international passengers, and with millions of travelers transiting in Dubai every year, there is a huge market waiting to be tapped. Our aim is to encourage these passengers to enjoy an extended stopover in Dubai, to exit the airport and experience the city.”

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“We want them to view their transit in Dubai not as an unwanted delay in their travels from A to B, but as a fantastic opportunity to add value to their journey. The MyDubai Experience is the perfect way for them to get a glimpse of all that is possible in this great city, no matter what their budget or interest, helping them to realize that a stay here even if only for a day or two truly is an opportunity they will not want to miss,” he added.

WAM reports that the installation is located in one of the busiest parts of the terminal and measures an impressive six metres in height and four metres in diameter, the new installation comprises state-of-the-art LED tiles positioned to create five 360-degree rings, each exhibiting a variety of photographic, video, social media and user-generated content.

Available in eight languages, the touchscreens give travellers access to a vast array of Dubai-related information and visuals. Users can receive further information via email by registering their details, which also automatically enters them into a monthly draw to win a free luxury holiday for two to Dubai.

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While the advent of digital tourism is still relatively recent internationally, such experiences are often available for personal consumption on mobile phones. Why would someone opt for the “MyDubai Experience” when they could very well get a similar experience on their phones and on the move?

In a sense, it’s a similar argument to the Netflix vs. the Movie Theatre debate. While Netflix has revolutionized how we experience audiovisual content, cinemagoers still flock to the latest Marvel movie at the theatre. The reason is that experiencing content as part of a group and on a bigger scale is much more engaging than cozying up with your phone for a solitary experience.

So while similar offerings to the “MyDubai Experience” do exist on mobile phones, the new activation will tap into the older way of doing things, where we tried and enjoyed things as a group. Not to mention that the ability to be able to meet new people from across the world and share with them these new sights and sounds, even if they are virtual, is truly extraordinary.

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